To Disclose Or Not To Disclose: Trade Secrets Vs. Patents

By John Artz, Brandon Debus and Franklin Smith (September 25, 2017, 11:19 AM EDT) -- When a business develops valuable information not known to its competitors, it is often faced with a difficult and important decision: whether to disclose that information and seek federal patent protection, or to maintain the information's confidentiality relying instead on state trade secret protections. While both options require a nuanced analysis of the subject business and its particularized needs, this article provides several guiding principles to aid the decision-making process.


As an initial matter, it is important to understand the high-level differences between patents and trade secrets. On one hand, you have the patent: what is oftentimes considered the gold...

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