TRADE SECRETS: A LESS THOUGHT OF, BUT POWERFUL ASPECT OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS
A recent Texas Trade Secrets case was just concluded in the 434th District Court of Fort Bend County, resulting in a jury award of over $2.5 Million, as well as $5.37 Million in attorneys fees, plus punitive damages. (See DNOW LLP. v. Toby Eoff et al. Case number 22-DCV-294327 in Fort Bend County’s 434th District Court) https://www.law360.com/employment/articles/1579009/jury-hits-oilfield-pump-workers-with-7m-ip-theft-verdict. A Trade Secrets case can be a powerful arsenal in protecting a company’s valuable information. Trade Secrets are but one branch of a company’s intellectual property (IP) rights. Generally, most people think of IP as Patents, Trademarks, and Copyright material; however, another important branch of IP is the concept of Trade Secrets. In general, Trade Secrets are intellectual property rights regarding confidential information. This information must be kept secret, and may be sold or licensed. Our upcoming article will discuss more details regarding Trade Secrets.
In the DNOW v. Toby Eoff case, Mr. Eoff was accused of breaching his fiduciary duty to DNOW. Specifically, Mr. Eoff was accused of conspiring with others to severely harm Odessa Pumps by misappropriating trade secrets. Odessa Pumps was a family-owned business that Mr. Eoff sold to DNOW for $170 million. Mr. Eoff then established a competing company, Permian Pump & Valve (https://permianpumpandvalve.com). Mr. Eoff was accused of conspiring with several former DNOW employees to recruit DNOW employees and steal DNOW’s trade secrets. Further, Mr. Eoff was accused of orchestrating a plan with those recruited employees to damage Odessa Pumps in a scheme to buy back the damaged company at a much-reduced price.
The jury sided with the Plaintiff’s contention that DNOW’s trade secrets were misappropriated by the Defendants, and as a result, DNOW suffered harm. This case illustrates that trade secrets can be a powerful part of a companies IP portfolio. Companies should consider developing an overall IP strategy where various company information is protected using Patents, Copyright, Trademarks, and Trade Secret concepts. Attorneys at the Law Firm of John & Morgan, P.C. have extensive experience in advising clients regarding Patents, Copyrights, Trademarks, and Trade Secret matters. The Firm also has experience litigating these intellectual property issues. Our attorneys have significant industry, technical, and legal expertise in protecting and developing strong IP portfolios for various industries.
JOHN AND MORGAN is a versatile law firm that handles Intellectual Property work such as Trade Secrets, Patents, Trademark, and copywrite. We are established in Family Law cases such as Divorce, Child Support, and Child Custody. We also do Wills and Estate Planning.
Call to schedule your consultation at 713-934-7000
IMAGES GENERATED WITH DALL-E