Last week, the Texas Supreme Court provided its first opinion interpreting the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act in a case involving an issue that often causes discomfort to lawyers on both sides of the “v” in trade secret misappropriation cases: how much of their trade secrets do plaintiffs have to disclose to enable the defendant to adequately defend itself? The opinion in In re M-I L.L.C. d/b/a M-I Swaco, 2016 WL 2981342 (Tex., May 20, 2016) demonstrates this tension. READ MORE
Posts by: T. Wayne Harman
On July 31, 2015, TSW continued our reporting of the continuing saga of Congress’ attempts to establish a federal right of civil action for trade secrets misappropriation by covering the introduction of the “Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2015” (“2015 DTSA”). The 2015 DTSA was introduced in identical form in the House (H.R. 3326) by Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) and in the Senate (S. 1890) by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT). In prior posts, we covered the introduction of the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2014 in both the House (the “2014 House Bill”) and the Senate and outlined the differences between the two, noting that the 2014 House Bill was much more protective of defendants facing ex parte seizure orders. READ MORE
Just over one year ago, we noted the continued and vibrant debate among state and federal courts over whether the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“UTSA”) preempts other claims based on the misappropriation of information when that information does not qualify as a trade secret. In that post, we noted that Arizona was one of the states in which the “majority interpretation” had been applied, which is the view that UTSA preempts all common law tort claims based on trade secret misappropriation, whether or not it meets the statutory definition of a trade secret.
With a powerful industrial coalition lining up behind them, two senators are trying yet again to establish a federal right of civil action for trade secret misappropriation, potentially making trade secrets an IP stepchild no more.
Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2014 on April 29. As we reported in February (and as picked up today by the LegalTimes), Sen. Coons was then circulating a draft; by recruiting Sen. Hatch as a co-sponsor, he can now tout the bill’s bipartisan support. Moreover, both are members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which might help the bill’s odds of survival. READ MORE
Revised post available here.
There are stirrings in the U.S. Senate of yet another bid to establish a federal right of civil action for trade secret misappropriation.
Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) has quietly circulated a draft bill to IP lawyers and others with an interest in the legislation. The draft Protecting American Trade Secrets and Innovation Act of 2014 (“PATSIA 2014”) is the latest of several recent attempts to bring about this right. The past attempts include Sen. Coons’ own prior iteration of the bill, PATSIA 2012 (S. 3389), which never made it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. READ MORE