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Trade Secret Misappropriation in Texas (Part II)

September 9, 2013

We are blogging on “Non-competes, Trade Secrets, Fiduciary Duties, and the Inevitable Disclosure Doctrine.” Mark Oberti has prepared a detailed paper on all of these issues, which can be found here.

More on Texas Trade Secret Misappropriation:

When a defendant possesses trade secrets and is in a position to use them, harm to the trade secret owner may be presumed. See T-N-T Motorsports, Inc., 965 S.W.2d at 24 (holding that appellant possessed confidential information and was in a position to use it; thus, appellant was likely to use information to former employer’s detriment). The threatened disclosure of trade secrets constitutes irreparable injury as a matter of law. Williams v. Compressor Eng’g Corp., 704 S.W.2d 469, 471 (Tex. App.–Houston [14th Dist.] 1986, writ ref’d n.r.e.) (citing FMC Corp. v. Varco Int’l, Inc., 677 F.2d 500, 503 (5th Cir. 1982)). Injunctive relief may be employed when one breaches his confidential relationship in order to misuse a trade secret. Luccous, 376 S.W.2d at 341. Injunctive relief is also proper to prevent a party, which has appropriated another’s trade secrets, from gaining an unfair market advantage. T–N–T Motorsports, Inc., 965 S.W.2d at 24. Irreparable harm may also be established by evidence that disclosure of trade-secret information could enable competitors to misuse the marketing plans and strategies of the applicant and avoid the less successful strategies as well as the risk and expense of developing the strategies. Mabrey v. Sandstream, Inc., 124 S.W.3d 302, 319 (Tex. App. – Fort Worth 2003, no pet.). The misuse of trade secrets leading to the loss of an existing business is another example of irreparable harm entitling an applicant to injunctive relief. Miller Paper Co. v. Roberts Paper Co., 901 S.W.2d 593, 602 (Tex. App. – Amarillo 1995, no writ).

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