Ramirez v. Ignite Holdings Ltd.

On August 26, 2013, the Texas Court of Appeals struck down part of a temporary trade secret injunction, finding the injunction overly vague. In Ramirez v. Ignite Holdings Ltd., an energy services provider (Stream) and its marketing subsidiary (Ignite) brought several claims including breach of contract and trade secret misappropriation against four former sales associates who had started directly competing businesses, which Stream claimed was a violation of the associates’ non-compete agreements. The trial court granted a temporary injunction which, among other things, barred the sales associates from possessing, disclosing, or using any of Ignite’s or Stream’s trade secrets, “including but not limited to proprietary information, confidential information, training materials, templates, or sales or customer lists.”

On interlocutory appeal, the Texas Court of Appeals found that this provision was too vague to warrant enforcement. Specifically, the court held that terms used or cross-referenced in the provision such as “confidential information,” “proprietary information,” “techniques,” and “materials” were not well-defined enough to provide the sales associates with sufficient guidance on what acts they were restrained from doing. As a result, the court reversed this provision of the injunction and remanded for further proceedings.

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