The Choice Between Patent Protection and Trade Secret Protection: A Legal and Business Decision
Suffolk University Law School
Journal of the Patent & Trademark Office Society, Vol. 84, 2002
Patent and trade secret law can be viewed as alternative bodies of law for protecting certain types of inventions. Consequently, an inventor will often have to make a choice or election between the type of protection to rely on. This election must be based on considering both the legal consequences that flow from the choice and the relevant business considerations that must be factored into the choice.
Part I of this article will discuss the scope of patentable subject matter; Part II will discuss the scope of subject matter protectible via trade secret law. Part III will then address the legal and business considerations related to choosing between reliance on patent or trade secret law when the relevant subject matter is potentially protectible by either body of law.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 38
Keywords: Patent, trade secret, intellectual property protectionAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: April 23, 2005
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