Bishop v. Miller

Summarized by:

  • Court: Intellectual Property Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Trade Secrets, Misappropriation
  • Date Filed: 09-12-2013
  • Case #: NO. 14-12-00264-CV, NO. 14-12-00318-CV
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourteenth District, Houston
  • LexisNexis Citation: 2013 Tex. App. LEXIS 11614
  • Westlaw Citation: 2013 WL 4857891
  • Full Text Opinion

A compilation of readily accessible information could constitute a trade secret.

Opinion (Jamison): This case was a cross appeal concerning misappropriation of trade secrets relating to a process for mining potash, or potassium-containing ore. In its appeal, Reunion Potash Company (“Reunion”) contended that the evidence was legally insufficient to sustain the trial jury's finding that it misappropriated trade secrets belonging to William E. Bishop and Pinnacle Potash International, Ltd. (“Bishop and Pinnacle”). Reunion contended that there was insufficient evidence to establish that Bishop owned any trade secrets, that Reunion used Bishop trade secrets, or that Bishop suffered damages as a result. The court determined that Bishop's compliation of readily accessible information could constitute a trade secret. It found Bishop took necessary measures to keep its methods secret and that its methods were unique in the industry. The court further found that Reunion misappropriated the trade secrets when Reunion used them in a business plan meant to produce revenue for Reunion. The court found no merit in the claim that Bishop suffered no damages from the misappropriation. Finding sufficient evidence to support the jury’s finding that Reunion misappropriated Bishop’s trade secrets, the appellate court AFFIRMED the trial court’s ruling.

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