In some cases, trade secret protection of an invention is a viable alternative to patent protection. A trade secret is information, including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, or process, that derives independent economic value from not being generally known to or readily ascertainable to others who might obtain economic value from its disclosure or use.
In order to maintain its value, a trade secret owner must take precautions to prevent disclosure of the secret information. Conversely, patent protection requires the inventor to provide detailed information about the invention in order to be granted the right to exclude others from making, using, or selling the invention for a specific period of time.
The two types of intellectual property also have a number of other key differences:
- Process for protection: Unlike patents, trade secrets cannot be federally protected through applications to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Rather, the…
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