Spear Marketing, Inc. v. BancorpSouth Bank, No. 14-10753 (5th Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
SMI filed suit against BCS and ARGO, alleging violations of various Texas state law claims related to defendants' alleged theft of trade secrets in connection with a software program developed and sold by SMI. After removal to federal court, the district court denied SMI's motion to remand and subsequently granted defendants' motion for summary judgment. The court concluded that the district court was correct to consider only the Original Petition when deciding SMI’s motion to remand; held that state law claims based on ideas fixed in tangible media are preempted by section 301(a) of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 301(a), and that the technical trade secrets found within VaultWorks fall within the subject matter of copyright; affirmed the district court’s denial of SMI’s motion to remand and held that it properly exercised jurisdiction over this action as a result of complete preemption by the Copyright Act; concluded that it would not be reasonable for a jury to infer that defendants used SMI’s trade secrets and therefore, the court affirmed the district court’s dismissal of SMI’s claim of misappropriation of trade secrets; and concluded that SMI has waived its remaining claims. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.