For years, it was not uncommon for misappropriation of trade secrets claims to be accompanied by a variety of other common law causes of action such as breach of fiduciary, fraud, and conspiracy. The Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act (TUTSA), however, states that it “displaces conflicting tort, restitutionary, and other law of this state providing civil remedies for misappropriation of a trade secret.” Generally, this provision means that all common law or non-contractual claims based on “the alleged improper taking of trade secret and confidential business information” are preempted. Some cases, though, hold that TUTSA “does not preempt causes of action stemming from the misappropriation of confidential information that is not a trade secret.” The Eastern District of Texas explored this split in the case law in BKL Holdings, Inc. v. Globe Life Inc., No. 4:22-CV-00170, 2023 WL 2432012 (E.D. Tex. Mar. 9, 2023). Continue Reading Eastern District of Texas Explores TUTSA’s Preemption Provision
Title Source, Inc. v. HouseCanary, Inc., No. 04-19-00044-CV, 2020 WL 5027667 (Tex. App.—San Antonio Aug. 26, 2020, pet. granted) is a new case addressing the jury charge in Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act (TUTSA) cases. In a previous post, I discussed the Casteel problem in the misappropriation instructions that resulted in reversal of this multi-million dollar judgment and the court’s evaluation of the evidence supporting the existence of the trade secrets. (For complete discussion of the facts, please see this previous blog post. Since I wrote that post, the Court withdrew its earlier opinion and held, in addition to its previous holdings, that HouseCanary must also retry its breach of non-disclosure agreement claims if it elects on remand to retry its TUTSA claims because the claims were not separable from each other without unfairness to the parties.)
Continue Reading Even More Lessons from Title Source v. HouseCanary
In June 2020, the San Antonio Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Title Source, Inc. v. HouseCanary, Inc., No. 04-19-00044-CV, 2020 WL 2858866 (Tex. App.–San Antonio June 3, 2020, no pet. h.), reversing and remanding for new trial a $740 million judgment in favor of HouseCanary on its Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act (TUTSA) and fraud claims against Title Source.
Continue Reading Crafting The Jury Charge in Trade Secrets Cases — Lessons from Title Source v. HouseCanary