Trade Secrets

Hire a Trade Secret Attorney for Protection

The confidential information of both emergent and established businesses is best known as their trade secrets. The formula, pattern, practice, process, or design that characterizes a trade secret makes it indispensable to the financial success of a company, allowing for economic advantage over consumers and competitors alike.

At Craft Chu PLCC, you will work with a knowledgeable trade secret attorney unique to our exclusive practice of intellectual property law to ensure that your company’s trade secrets are tightly sealed. We have represented numerous clients in a wide range of subject matter of trade secret law, including issues such as sales methods, distribution methods, advertising strategies, consumer profiles, lists of suppliers and clients, and recipes and manufacturing processes, among others. Of course, there are several factors used to determine whether or not a trade secret has been compromised and what is protected. When you use a premier trade secret attorney Houston at the firm of Craft Chu PLCC, you will have a transparent, personable experience dedicated to protecting your company and resolving any issues that have manifested.

When you contact a trade secret attorney at Craft Chu PLCC, you are granted access to over 30 years of combined experience of protecting companies and prosecuting instances of misappropriation and other trade secret dilemmas. To learn more about our team of professionals and to find a trade secret attorney Houston that is the right fit for your company, please explore information about our practice and our services. To contact us directly, call us at 713.802.9144.

Trade Secrets Protected by State Law

Unlike many of the other forms of intellectual property protection, trade secrets are protected by state law, not Federal law.  Patent applicants generally rely on trade secret law to protect their inventions while the patent applications are pending.

The Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“TUTSA”) is a recent law that codified Texas trade secret laws. A “trade secret” is defined by TUTSA as information that derives independent economic value from not being generally known or readily ascertainable and for which reasonable efforts are made to maintain its secrecy. TUTSA applies to the misappropriation of a trade secret made on or after September 1, 2013 (the “Effective Date”). Thus, the law prior to the TUTSA still applies in cases where an alleged misappropriation occurred before the Effective Date, even if the lawsuit is filed on or after that date. Prior to TUTSA, Texas trade secret law dealt with two main causes of action: (1) common law trade secret misappropriation and (2) Texas Theft Liability Act claims. After the Effective Date, the TUTSA supersedes and replaces both of the prior trade secret causes of action. Under TUTSA, actual and threatened trade secret misappropriation may be enjoined. TUTSA allows for prevailing parties to receive attorneys’ fees. As for damages, TUTSA provides for the actual loss caused by the misappropriation, as well as any unjust enrichment not included in the actual loss determination. Alternatively, damages may be calculated by a reasonable royalty for the unauthorized use or disclosure of a trade secret. TUTSA also makes exemplary damages available for willful and malicious misappropriation proven by clear and convincing evidence. TUTSA is one of the most modern and comprehensive laws governing trade secrets in the United States.

Federal Trade Secret Protection

The Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) was passed into law in May 2016, and provides a federal cause of action for trade-secret misappropriation. The DTSA creates the first federal civil cause of action and suite of statutory remedies for the misappropriation of trade secrets in the United States and provides a single uniform cause of action for trade secret misappropriation across the states. The law also grants legal immunity to corporate whistle-blowers with a related notice requirement for their employers, and a civil property seizure mechanism used only in extraordinary circumstances. Prior to the DTSA, as a civil matter, trade secret misappropriation claims were governed exclusively by state laws. The DTSA does not pre-empt state law, meaning that a party can file suit under the DTSA in federal court and plead a parallel state law claim arising out of the same set of facts. Under the DTSA, a party can recover injunctive relief, monetary damages, and attorneys’ fees.