Patents vs. Trade Secrets
There are two kinds of trade secrets that an invention or business process may fall under. These are trade secrets that are patentable and not patentable. When an idea, process, or invention is capable of meeting the patentability criteria, the owner of the intellectual property has the option to protect their property under trade secret law or obtain a patent.
Computer code, software or hardware, product design, or blueprints may all be protected as a trade secret. However, some of these may also meet patentability criteria and therefore, be eligible for protection under patent law. A legal professional that has experience working with intellectual property may help you determine the most advantageous legal option for your situation.
Benefits of Trade Secret Law
Although the benefits of each option vary, trade secrets are generally less expensive than patent law protection. The positive aspects of classification as trade secrets are:
- No registration charge
- Immediate effect and enforcement
- No time limit of ownership (patents generally last around 20 years)
- No requirement to release information to government
While trade secrets may be less expensive, patent law is arguably more secure. Trade law does not protect against reverse engineering or the use of a trade secret once it is released to the public. It is also more difficult to enforce than patent law.
Contact a Dallas Intellectual Property Lawyer
If you have an idea or invention that you want to protect your rights to, contact the team of Dallas intellectual property attorneys at Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C.. With decades of experience working through complex intellectual property litigation, our team is capable of helping you secure legal protection for your original ideas. Call (214) 317-4448 today to learn more.