Trade Secret theft has become a major problem for U.S. businesses. The National Security Association has estimated that trade secret theft costs U.S. companies $334 billion per year.
And when we talk about trade secret theft, we’re not just talking about Chinese computer hackers. A survey of federal trade secret cases revealed that 90% of trade secret theft comes at the hands of employees and business partners.
In a 2009 study, approximately 1,000 ex-employees were interviewed after they resigned or were let go from their jobs. Here’s what was learned:
- 59% of those ex-employees admitted stealing confidential business information from their ex-employers’.
- 82% took documents and electronic files when they left;
- 40% downloaded files and documents to USB flash drives; and
- 38% sent company files as attachments to their personal email accounts.
48 STATES HAVE ADOPTED UNIFORM TRADE SECRETS ACTS
In response to the growing problem with Trade Secret Theft, 48 states, including Texas, have adopted a Uniform Trade Secrets Act. These acts have clarified the issue of what types of information can qualify for trade secret protection, and have provided uniformity as to how trade secret cases are handled.
THE TEXAS UNIFORM TRADE SECRETS ACT
The Texas Act is called the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act. It became effective in September of 2013. The Texas Act provides trade secret protection to very broad categories of your confidential business information, including: your pricing strategies; your customer lists; your vendor list; lists of potential customers and suppliers; your marketing plans; your profit margin information; and your customers’ purchasing histories.
If you have reason to believe that an ex-employee has taken your confidential business information with him to use in competition against you, contact an experienced business litigation attorney to learn how you can protect your rights.