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Articles

The inevitable disclosure doctrine in Texas after the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act: Alive and kicking or livin’ on a prayer?

February 26, 2014

Articles

The inevitable disclosure doctrine in Texas after the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act: Alive and kicking or livin’ on a prayer?

February 26, 2014

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The inevitable disclosure doctrine in trade secret law allows employers to seek injunctive relief against former employees when it is probable or inevitable that the employee will unlawfully make use of the employer’s trade secrets. The probability/inevitability of misconduct can be shown by a myriad of facts, including the circumstances surrounding the former employee’s departure and the employee’s position at the new employer. Importantly, under the doctrine, the employer need not show actual misconduct—only the threat of misconduct. While states have split on their willingness to adopt the inevitable disclosure doctrine, the doctrine has been recognized and applied by some Texas courts, though its adoption remains modest. The trade secret landscape in Texas may have changed significantly with the adoption of the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act, which went into effect on September 1, 2013. Rather than squash the use the inevitable disclosure concept as a litigation tool, the Act actually appears to endorse the concept. Indeed, in Section 134A.003, the Act permits the issuance of injunctive relief in connection with threatened misappropriation of trade secrets. So, alive and kicking or livin’ on a prayer? Read on to get the insight of Fish attorney Rex Mann in this latest trade secrets blog post.

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