UPDATE: Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act Signed Into Law, Becomes Effective September 1, 2013

08 May 2013 Labor & Employment Law Perspectives Blog
Authors: Jessica Glatzer Mason

Governor Rick Perry has signed the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act (TUTSA), making Texas the 48th state to adopt the uniform law.  The bill becomes effective on September 1, 2013, and will govern the misappropriation of trade secrets on or after that date. TUTSA  provides meaningful protection to employers seeking to protect their trade secrets, and mandates a presumption in favor of granting protective orders to help limit the extensive damage that can result from the theft of valuable business information.  The law expands the remedies currently available for misappropriation of trade secrets.   Importantly, the proposed statute specifically identifies customer lists and potential customer lists as protected trade secrets—items previously evaluated on a case by case basis by Texas courts.

TUTSA authorizes courts to issue injunctive relief to prohibit disclosure or threatened disclosure of trade secrets, as well as to take any other reasonable steps to preserve the secrecy of the confidential information.  Notably, TUTSA empowers courts to compel affirmative action by a party to protect a trade secret in addition to simply preserving the status quo.  The statute also provides for damages in addition to injunctive relief.  Damages may be calculated by analyzing the actual loss or the unjust enrichment resulting from the misappropriation, or by imposition of a reasonable royalty.  In addition, the courts now have the discretion to award reasonable attorneys’ fees to a prevailing party. 

A copy of the final bill can be found here.

For more information, please contact Jessica Mason or any of the labor and employment attorneys at Gardere.

This blog is made available by Foley & Lardner LLP (“Foley” or “the Firm”) for informational purposes only. It is not meant to convey the Firm’s legal position on behalf of any client, nor is it intended to convey specific legal advice. Any opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Foley & Lardner LLP, its partners, or its clients. Accordingly, do not act upon this information without seeking counsel from a licensed attorney. This blog is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Communicating with Foley through this website by email, blog post, or otherwise, does not create an attorney-client relationship for any legal matter. Therefore, any communication or material you transmit to Foley through this blog, whether by email, blog post or any other manner, will not be treated as confidential or proprietary. The information on this blog is published “AS IS” and is not guaranteed to be complete, accurate, and or up-to-date. Foley makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation or content of the site. Foley expressly disclaims all other guarantees, warranties, conditions and representations of any kind, either express or implied, whether arising under any statute, law, commercial use or otherwise, including implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Foley or any of its partners, officers, employees, agents or affiliates be liable, directly or indirectly, under any theory of law (contract, tort, negligence or otherwise), to you or anyone else, for any claims, losses or damages, direct, indirect special, incidental, punitive or consequential, resulting from or occasioned by the creation, use of or reliance on this site (including information and other content) or any third party websites or the information, resources or material accessed through any such websites. In some jurisdictions, the contents of this blog may be considered Attorney Advertising. If applicable, please note that prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Photographs are for dramatization purposes only and may include models. Likenesses do not necessarily imply current client, partnership or employee status.

Related Services

Insights