Very good news for business owners in Texas. Following the lead of numerous states across the country, the Texas Legislature enacted a new law that provides new protections for trade secrets. Although enacted in the last quarter of 2013, many clients are unfamiliar with this new avenue of Intellectual Property protection which definitely levels the playing field.
A trade secret relates to information, formulas, patterns, and techniques which derive independent economic value or potential from not being generally known to the public. Unlike a copyright or patent, a trade secret is protected by affirmative acts of the owner to keep the information confidential. This is also important as materials filed with the Copyright Office or PTO can be examined by the public. Typical examples include recipes such as the secret formula for Coke.
This tool is also available to protect software developers and inventors as it offers an alternative to copyright protection. Critically, the law makes it much easier to obtain an injunction to stop unlawful misappropriation as merely “threatened misappropriation” can be enjoined.
The Moster Law Firm recently utilized the new law to obtain a TRO for a software client which was a case of the first impression in a West Texas Court.
Good news, indeed – for West Texas entrepreneurs!