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Q.What is the difference between trade secret protection and patent protection?

A.In the United States, trade secret law protects information that is valuable to a business, but that may not be eligible for patent protection. Patent protection is available only for new, useful and non-obvious inventions, whereas trade secret protection is available for all types of information, so long as the information is secret and provides a competitive business advantage.

In addition, unlike patent protection which is available only for a defined period of time, trade secret protection may last indefinitely. It lasts as long as you can protect and keep the secret.

Finally, patent holders may exclude anyone from practicing the patented invention, even parties who independently develop the same invention. A trade secret owner, on the other hand, cannot prevent others from independently developing the same idea or invention.




Copyright 1999-2018 Melissa C. Marsh. All Rights Reserved. All Information on this website is subject to a Disclaimer and Use Agreement. This information is provided as general information only and should not be construed as legal advice. We advise you to seek the advice of competent legal counsel to address your own specific questions, facts and circumstances.