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.