Texas Uniform Trade Secret Act
Texas will join 46 other states on September 1, 2013, when the Texas Uniform Trade Secret Act (UTSA) goes into effect. The law recently passed the Texas legislature and will benefit businesses by making Texas trade secret law similar to trade secret laws across the country. Prior to the law's passing, the statutes protecting trade secrets in Texas were ambiguous and difficult to enforce. The new law is similar to other states' updated versions, and is a derivative of the model UTSA introduced by the Uniform Law Commission in 1979.
The ability to protect trade secrets can be an important component in operating a successful business. But what is considered a trade secret? The answer requires an analysis of certain factors. Texas law outlines parameters, such as:
- Criteria for a protectable trade secret
- Which actions constitute misappropriation of a trade secret
- Options for business owners in the event of misappropriation
Though similar, each of the 46 participating states has its own version of the law, complete with varying definitions of trade secrets and what constitutes a misappropriation. The law governing a particular case can have a huge influence on the outcome.
Texas law identifies a trade secret as confidential business information, including,
“[a] formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, process, financial data, or list of actual or potential customers or suppliers.
Misappropriating a trade secret in Texas includes the acts of acquiring a trade secret through inappropriate means, or the unauthorized disclosure of, or the disclosure of trade secrets gained through inappropriate means. The law further defines “reverse engineering” and leaves open the possibility that reverse engineering could be considered inappropriate means.
If your business is dealing with an issue involving a trade secret, one of our College Station, Texas business law attorneys can help. Call Peterson Law Group for quality, cost-effective answers to your business law questions. You can reach us at 979-703-7014, or visit us online to schedule a meeting.