In the case of Scientific Machine & Welding, Inc. v. Rose, No. 03-20-00564-CV, 2022 WL 850409 (Tex. App.—Austin Mar. 23, 2022, no pet.), the Texas Court of Appeals determined (1) if the steps taken by the plaintiff amounted to a “reasonable measure” of keeping the relative information a trade secret, (2) whether Scientific came forth with legally sufficient evidence to support claims of breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract, (3), whether Scientific’s claim of a “breach of implied contract of confidentiality” existed under Texas Law. Continue Reading Texas Court of Appeal Evaluates What Actions Constitute “Reasonable Measures” to Keep a Trade Secret
The case of Phazr, Inc. v. Ramakrishna, No. 3:19-CV-01188-X, 2020 WL 5526554 (N.D. Tex. Sept. 14, 2020), evaluated the pleading requirements expected of a plaintiff in a misappropriation of trade secrets claim under the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) and the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act (TUTSA). Ultimately, the Court determined that the plaintiff failed to meet the plausibility standard expressed in Twombly-Iqbal.
Continue Reading Northern District of Texas Holds that Plaintiff Failed to Plead Claim for Trade Secrets
The last trademark-centric article posted, entitled, “Just a Picture on a T-Shirt: The Basics of the Most Common Trademark Application” was intended to be a two-parter. The article revealed a hole in the trademark regulation discussed later, and the second part of the article needed to await a solution to that hole, which also appears below. Let me explain . . . .
Continue Reading Just a Picture on a T-Shirt (Part 2): The Solution
Recently, trade secrets lawyer Patrick J. Huston sent me a copy of his new work The Law of Trade Secrets Under the Uniform Trade Secret Act. I appreciated receiving this work, which is a comprehensive overview of trade secrets law under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act.
Continue Reading The Law of Trade Secrets Under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act
A plaintiff who believes its trade secrets have been misappropriated can pursue those claims in either federal or state court. One of the advantages of choosing federal court is the growing body of case law holding that the Texas Citizens Participation Act (TCPA), Texas’s anti-SLAAP statute, does not apply in federal court.
Continue Reading The Eastern District of Texas Determines that Texas’s Anti-SLAAP Statute Does Not Apply to Claims Filed in Federal Court
If you have been reading this blog, you know that I have frequently commented on the use of Texas’s anti-SLAPP statute the Texas Citizens Participation Act (TCPA) to defeat a Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act (TUTSA) claim. Most of the early cases involved defendants using the TCPA to dismiss a plaintiff’s TUTSA claim. Universal Plant Services, Inc. v. Dresser-Rand Group, Inc., No. 01-17-00555-CV, 2018 WL 6695813 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] Dec. 20, 2018, no pet.) involves a plaintiff overcoming defendants’ TCPA motions.
Continue Reading How to Beat an Anti-SLAAP Motion in a Trade Secrets Case
If you have been following my blog, you know that Texas’s anti-slapp statute—the Texas Citizens Participation Act (TCPA)—frequently applies to commercial litigation claims. McDonald Oilfield Operations, LLC v. 3B Inspection, LLC, No. 01-18-00118-CV, 2018 WL 6377432 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] Dec. 6, 2018, no pet. h.) is another example of the use of the TCPA as a defense to a commercial litigation suit. In McDonald Oilfield Operations, plaintiff 3B Inspection brought claims a defamation, business disparagement, and tortious interference with contract after defendant McDonald Oilfield Operations, a competitor in the pipeline monitoring business, allegedly told one of 3B’s customers that 3B was “not a real company” and that McDonald Oilfield had suspended some 3B’s employees’ qualifications. (Three of 3B’s employees had worked for McDonald Oilfield as independent contractors and had received their credentials through McDonald Oilfield. McDonald Oilfield asserted claims that these employees had misappropriated trade secrets and stolen company property.)
Continue Reading Another Example of Texas’s Anti-Slapp Statute Applying to Commercial Litigation Claims
The December 2017 issue of Fort Worth Magazine listed its Fort Worth Top Attorneys for 2017. Fifteen Brackett & Ellis attorneys appeared on the list this year.
Continue Reading Fifteen Brackett & Ellis Lawyers Named Top Attorneys by Fort Worth Magazine
In Realpage, Inc. v. Enter. Risk Control, LLC, 4:16-CV-00737, 2017 WL 3313729 (E.D. Tex. Aug. 3, 2017), the Eastern District of Texas explored the definition of “use” under the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“TUTSA”). In Realpage, the Court granted a temporary injunction to the plaintiff who alleged its former employee was using its trade-secret information. Defendant argued that plaintiff had no evidence that defendant was using the alleged trade-secret information. Although plaintiff had little evidence of actual use, it argued that “use” can be implied from defendant’s quick development of its own software code that was similar to plaintiff’s. The Court agreed.
Continue Reading Too Quick to Market: How Hiring a Competitor’s Employee to Develop a Competiting Product Could Result in an Injunction under TUTSA
Six Brackett & Ellis attorneys were named to the Super Lawyers list featured recently in Texas Monthly. Inclusion as a Super Lawyer signifies a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement for the attorney. The Brackett & Ellis 2017 Super Lawyers are:
Continue Reading Six Brackett & Ellis Attorneys Named as Super Lawyers in Texas Monthly