Pitfalls Await Plaintiffs Who Do Not Think Through Trade Secret Theft Claims under the Texas Theft Liability Act

01/13/2014

Victims of trade secret theft in Texas can sue under common law theories of recovery, including trade secret misappropriation, and they can sue under the Texas Theft Liability Act (“TTLA”).  Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Chapter 134.  The TTLA grants theft victims a statutory cause of action, including in trade secret theft cases.  Id. at § 134.002(a) (based on Texas Penal Code § 31.05).  The law awards the prevailing party court costs and “reasonable and necessary attorney’s fees.”  Id. at § 134.005(b).

Plaintiffs are naturally tempted to sue an alleged trade secret thief under both common law and statutory theories of recovery.  But the claim elements under the two theories are substantially different.  As the following cases illustrate, trade secret claims brought under the TTLA must be carefully considered.  Plaintiffs risk not only spending money chasing claims that will ultimately fail at trial or on appeal, but also risk being burdened in the end with having to pay for defendants’ attorney’s fees.

To read the full article, click on the PDF linked below.

PDF - Trade secrect claims under the Texas Theft Statute.pdf

This article also appears as a guest column in Law360 on October 15, 2013.

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