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Supreme Court of Texas Denies Review in Beirne Maynard & Parsons Trade Secret Case
The case was precedent-setting in trade secret law in three respects.
First, the Court of Appeals held that a trade secret disclosed for one purpose may not be used by the disclosee for another purpose.
Second, the Court of Appeals held that a former employee has a continuing duty to protect trade secret information of his former employer. Texas law has long held that former employees are forbidden from using trade secret information acquired during the employment in a manner adverse to the former employer. This case extends the doctrine to impose a duty to protect such secret information by not disclosing it to others.
Third, the Court of Appeals held that disclosure of a trade secret to another investor, without obtaining a confidentiality agreement, does not automatically destroy its status as a trade secret. “Trade secret status is not destroyed by showing the protected item to prospective buyers, customers, or licensees.”
Friday’s ruling by the Supreme Court of Texas leaves these significant rulings intact. The Court of Appeals’ decision is Lamont v. Vaquillas Energy Lopeno, Ltd., No. 04-12-00219-CV (December 11, 2013).
Beirne Maynard attorneys involved in the appeal were Jeff Parsons, Joe Cohen, and Nicholas Stepp.