Intellectual property (IP) laws in Texas are primarily governed by federal laws that apply uniformly across the United States. These include:
Copyright Law: Copyright protection is granted to original creative works fixed in a tangible medium of expression. This protection is governed by the U.S. Copyright Act, which is a federal law applicable in all states, including Texas.
Patent Law: Patents grant inventors exclusive rights to their inventions. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) grants patents based on federal patent laws, which are applicable nationwide.
Trademark Law: Trademarks protect brand names, logos, and other identifiers associated with goods and services. Trademark rights are granted and enforced under the federal Lanham Act, which applies throughout the United States.
Trade Secret Law: Trade secrets encompass valuable business information that is kept confidential. Protection of trade secrets is primarily governed by the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), which applies across the country.
However, Texas, like other states, has certain state-specific provisions and court systems that impact IP enforcement and litigation. Here are some key points to consider regarding intellectual property laws in Texas:
The Texas Trade Secrets Act, which was enacted in 1987 and provides for civil and criminal remedies for trade secret misappropriation.
The Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act was enacted in 2015 and is largely similar to the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act.
The Texas Counterfeit Goods and Services Act was enacted in 2007 and makes it a crime to sell or distribute counterfeit goods or services.
The Texas Internet False Advertising Act was enacted in 2009 and prohibits making false or misleading statements in advertising on the Internet.
These laws provide businesses with additional tools to protect their intellectual property rights in Texas. They also help to deter counterfeiting and other forms of intellectual property infringement.
Texas has also taken steps to strengthen its intellectual property enforcement capabilities. For example, the Texas Attorney General's Office has created a Cybercrime Unit that focuses on investigating and prosecuting intellectual property crimes.
The Texas Department of Public Safety also has a Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division that is responsible for inspecting vehicles for counterfeit goods.
Texas is a hostile environment for intellectual property infringers. As a result, businesses that are considering investing in Texas can be confident that their intellectual property rights will be protected.