McClain v. State

269 S.W.3d 191 (2008)

From our private database of 46,000+ case briefs, written and edited by humans—never with AI.

McClain v. State

Texas Court of Appeals
269 S.W.3d 191 (2008)

  • Written by Liz Nakamura, JD

Facts

Frank McClain (plaintiff) was employed by Didrickson Associates, Inc. to test, certify, and repair the circuit boards, referred to as cards, used in General Electric gas turbines. Didrickson compiled and maintained an extensive library of circuit board diagrams, referred to as backsheets. The backsheets were physical, paper diagrams that were kept in locked file cabinets in a secured building. General Electric, the original creator of the backsheets, had previously released all the backsheets in Didrickson’s library into the public domain. During his employment, McClain created summaries of the backsheets for easy reference, which he referred to as set-up sheets. McClain’s set-up sheets were written directly onto the relevant backsheets. McClain eventually left Didrickson and started his own business. When he left, McClain took 100 of the backsheets containing McClain’s set-up sheets. McClain had not signed a confidentiality agreement, a noncompete agreement, or a work-product-ownership assignment contract with Didrickson. Regardless, upon request, McClain returned the 100 annotated backsheets to Didrickson. The State of Texas (defendant) charged McClain with theft of trade secrets, arguing that (1) the backsheets were trade secrets because they contained valuable, technical information; (2) even if the backsheets were not trade secrets, McClain’s set-up sheets were trade secrets; and (3) Didrickson owned McClain’s set-up sheets because McClain created them during his employment. After a jury trial, McClain was convicted and sentenced to jail. McClain appealed, arguing that the trial court improperly defined trade-secret ownership.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Moseley, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 742,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 742,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 46,000 briefs, keyed to 986 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 742,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 46,000 briefs - keyed to 986 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership