This Sunday, Texas will become the forty-eighth state to enact a version of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act. That will leave New York and Massachusetts as the only two states without some form of the law on the books.
Chris Hanslik is chairman of the Houston-based law firm of BoyarMiller. He says Texas companies have often been reluctant to take legal action to protect such information.
"You have to go into a court, which is a public forum, and if you're forced in that public forum to give the details of your trade secret without a protective order in place, you've just made your secrets public. This statute has a specific section where it favors protective orders being entered and says, in fact, there will be a presumption in favor of entering such an order."
The act will reduce the cost to businesses of bringing suits to protect their secrets, allowing them to recover the cost of attorney fees. It also expands the definition of a trade secret under state law to include financial data and customer lists.