Texas Legislator Seeks Adoption of UTSA

On March 4, 2013, bill S.B 953 was proposed by Senator John Carona (R-Dallas), seeking to adopt the Uniform Trade Secrets Act into Texas Civil Practice Code. Current Texas trade secrets law is based losely on common law misappropriation, and despite the existence of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act and the Second and Third Restatements of Torts, Texas continues to follow the First Restatement Torts §757. This provision holds a narrow definition of what constitutes trade secret misappropriation, including discovery by (a) improper means, (b) breach of confidence, (c) third party disclosure with knowledge of the third party's duty of confidentiality, or (d) mistaken disclosure and knowledge thereof. Adoption of the UTSA in Texas would mean increased protection for Texas corporations or sole proprietors maintaining trade secret information, granting protection for secret information guarded by "reasonable measures" to maintain that secrecy. Not only does the UTSA eliminate the stringent guidelines for qualification as trade secret misappropriation of the First Restatement Torts §757, but the UTSA also eliminates the requirement that information be in "continuous use" in order to obtain trade secret status. Such expansive provisions supplement the UTSA's primary objective of providing consistency in trade secrets misappropriation decisions, while also providing for punitive damages and attorney's fees awards where applicable.

If Texas adopts proposed legislation S.B. 953 the state will be the 47th to do so since the Act's promulgation, and will go into effect on September 1, 2013.

See the proposed Texas legislation HERE.