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Recovery of Attorneys' Fees for Theft of Trade Secrets

Feb 24, 2013

Can attorneys’ fees be recovered on a misappropriation of trade secrets claim?

The Texas Theft Liability Act imposes civil liability for, among other actions, “unlawfully appropriating property” as described by Texas Penal Code section 31.05. See Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. §§ 134.002(2), 134.003. Under penal code section 31.05(b), a person commits theft of trade secrets if, without the trade-secret owner's consent, he knowingly: (1) steals a trade secret; (2) copies an article representing a trade secret; or (3) communicates or transmits a trade secret. Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 31.05(b) (2013). A person who sustains damages resulting from the unlawful appropriation of property under section 31.05 may recover actual damages, as well as additional damages not to exceed $1,000 and attorney's fees. Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. § 134.005. See also Twister B.V. v. Newton Research Partners, LP, 364 S.W.3d 428, 440 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2012).

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