In my earlier posts, I discussed the developing standards for injunctive relief under the Texas Uniform Trade Secret Act (TUTSA). Under the Northern District of Texas’s analysis, proof of irreparable harm is required but that irreparable harm can be established with a showing that the “defendant possesses the trade secrets and is in a position to use them.” Continue Reading Corpus Christi Court of Appeals Applies the Irreparable Injury Standard for Trade Secret Injunction

In my earlier posts, I explored the complicated definition of “misappropriation” under the Texas Uniform Trade Secret Act (TUTSA).  Litigants and courts often fail to understand all the ways a trade secret may be misappropriated.  In this post, I explore the last of the six alternative paths to liability under TUTSA:

vi. Disclosure or use of a trade secret of another without express or implied consent by a person who, before a material change of the position of the person, knew or had reason to know that the trade secret was a trade secret and that knowledge of the trade secret had been acquired by accident or mistake [§ 134A.002 (3)(B)(iii)]

Path six imposes liability on the person who obtained the trade secret through accident or mistake.  For example, if the new employer did not know that its new employee had obtained the trade secret through improper means or pursuant to a duty to maintain its confidentiality or limit its use, the new employer may still be liable if it later had reason to discover the trade secret and had not materially changed its position.  There is currently no Texas case law as to what constitutes a material change in position.  A material change in position might be a company’s investment in the production of a product that unknowingly contained another’s trade secret.  In that situation, even if the company was later put on notice of the trade secret, the company may not be liable for future production if it can prove that it materially changed its position.

 

When it comes to injunctive relief under the Texas Uniform Trade Secret Act (TUTSA), courts are slowly developing their standards. In First Command Financial Planning, Inc. v. Velez, No. 4:16-cv-01008-0, 2017 WL 2900405 (N.D. Tex. May 8, 2017), the Northern District of Texas stated its standard. For injunctive relief in First Command Financial, the court required a showing of irreparable harm. The Court then cited the San Antonio Court of Appeals case of Hughes v. Age Industries for the proposition that irreparable harm is established by a showing that the “defendant possesses the trade secrets and is in a position to use them.” Continue Reading Northern District of Texas Case Explores Standard for Injunctive Relief Under Texas Uniform Trade Secret Act

In my earlier posts, I explored the complicated definition of “misappropriation” under the Texas Uniform Trade Secret Act (TUTSA).  Litigants and courts often fail to understand all the ways a trade secret may be misappropriated.  In this post, I explore the fifth of six alternative paths to liability under TUTSA: Continue Reading The Six Paths to Liability Under the Texas Uniform Trade Secret Act – Part 5

 

The Texas Uniform Trade Secret Act (TUTSA) displaces conflicting tort, restitutionary, and other law of this state providing civil remedies for misappropriation of a trade secret. Recently, the Corpus Christi Court of Appeals issued an opinion in Super Star International interpreting this provision. The Western District of Texas expanded on this opinion in Embarcadero Technologies, Inc. v. Redgate Software, Inc., No. 1:17-CV-444-RP, 2018 WL 315753 (W.D. Tex. Jan. 5, 2018). Continue Reading Western District of Texas Issues Opinion Interpreting TUTSA Preemption Provision

The Texas Uniform Trade Secret Act (TUTSA) displaces conflicting tort, restitutionary, and other law of this state providing civil remedies for misappropriation of a trade secret. In Super Starr International, LLC v. Fresh Tex Produce, LLC, 531 S.W.3d 829 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi July 20, 2017, no pet.), the Corpus Christi Court of Appeals offered perhaps the first interpretation of the section. Continue Reading Corpus Christi Court Issues Opinion Interpreting Preemption Provision of the Texas Uniform Trade Secret Act

In my earlier posts, I explored the complicated definition of “misappropriation” under the Texas Uniform Trade Secret Act (TUTSA).  Litigants and courts often fail to understand all the ways a trade secret may be misappropriated.  In this post, I explore the fourth of six alternative paths to liability under TUTSA: Continue Reading The Six Paths to Liability Under the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act – Part 4

In my July 16 and Sept 25 posts, I explored the complicated definition of “misappropriation” under the Texas Uniform Trade Secret Act (TUTSA).  Litigants and courts often fail to understand all the ways a trade secret may be misappropriated.  In this post, I explore the third of six alternative paths to liability under TUTSA: Continue Reading The Six Paths to Liability Under the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act – Part 3

In BCOWW Holdings, LLC v. Collins, SA-17-CA-00379-FB, 2017 WL 3868184 (W.D. Tex. Sept. 5, 2017), the district court denied injunctive relief to the plaintiff who alleged its former employee was using its trade-secret information.  Plaintiff alleged that defendant misappropriated, among other things, its confidential drawings (engineering plans) and pricing information.   The court observed that these are certainly protected by the Texas Uniform Trade Secret Act (TUTSA)—if the information is kept a secret.  Plaintiff argued that it took reasonable efforts to maintain the secrecy of its information by only disclosing it to persons under an implied obligation not to use or disclose it and only on a limited basis. Continue Reading New Case Explains that Employers Must Be Proactive if They Want to Protect Their Trade Secrets