Patrick Keating

Texas Trade Secrets

Category: Uncategorized

Federal Courts Disagree Over SLAAP Statute

Many states, including Texas, enacted “anti-SLAPP” statutes to protect a person’s right to speak, petition the government, and freely associate with others.  The Texas Citizens Participation Act (“TCPA”) is one such statute.  Like other anti-SLAPP statutes, the TCPA provides a defendant who is sued for exercising the First Amendment right to freedom of speech, freedom of association or the right to petition the government the ability to file a motion to dismiss the lawsuit at the outset of the case.

The TCPA clearly applies in lawsuits pending in Texas state court.  However, federal courts in Texas issued conflicting opinions about whether the TCPA applies in federal court lawsuits that involve claims arising under Texas state law (as opposed to federal law). Continue reading

Jurors Don’t Understand Trade Secrets

When presenting theft of trade secret claims to a jury, it is important for the lawyer representing the Plaintiff to explain the difference between a trade secret and a patent.  It is common for a juror to begin a case with the incorrect belief that a business must obtain a patent to be able to protect business information or techniques in litigation.  The truth, however, is that trade secrets are an alternative form of intellectual property that courts enforce through awards of damages and injunctions.

Dallas jury consultant, Jason Bloom, recently conducted a survey of approximately 1,000 Dallas, Texas residents summoned for jury duty.  82% of the prospective jurors believed, “If someone has a trade secret, then they should get a patent on it.”  This is a reminder that an important part of presenting a trade secret case to a jury is explaining the difference between trade secrets and patents.

photo credit: Wonder woman0731 School Lost and Confused Signpost. via photopin (license)

A New Day (for me)

I usually refrain from making my posts too self-referential.  This will be one short exception.

Earlier this month, I started my own law firm in Dallas, Texas.  I will continue my focus on commercial litigation — with a particular focus on theft of trade secrets and breach of fiduciary disputes.  My firm is dedicated to providing clients a more innovative and efficient approach to litigation.  You can read more about that here.

Photograph by Vince Alongi displayed pursuant to the license located at:

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High Profile Cases

Over the last week, there have been several high profile cases filed and resolved on the civil and criminal front across the country.

Continue reading

Federal Trade Secret Legislation – Why?

I have been following the progress of bills in the U.S. House and Senate that would create a federal cause of action for theft of trade secrets.  I just don’t see a need for this legislation. Continue reading

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