Texas recently adopted a version of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“UTSA”). The new act will be known as the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“TUTSA”). New York and Massachusetts are now the only two states to not adopt some form or variation of the UTSA.
The TUTSA takes effect during the Labor Day weekend on September 1, 2013. However, the TUTSA does not necessarily apply to all cases filed in Texas after September 1, 2013. The TUTSA applies only if the alleged misappropriation began on or after September 1, 2013. Any misappropriation or continuing misappropriation that began before September 1, 2013 will continue to be governed by Texas common law.
I highlighted the most significant changes in my prior blog post that was made while the new law was being considered. As previously discussed, the ability to obtain attorneys’ fees in trade secrets cases is the change that will have the greatest impact on litigants. Another significant change is that there will be a presumption that a protective order needs to be put in place by the trial court to protect the trade secrets at issue in the litigation. Both of these changes provide increased protection for businesses because they allow businesses to protect their trade secrets at a lower cost (if they can recover their attorneys’ fees) and keep the trade secrets from being divulged when they bring litigation.