Do I keep something secret or patent it?

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Secret Patent Intellectual Property Intellectual Property

Do I keep something secret or patent it?

That will depend on the specific facts and circumstances of your invention. For example, how long do you expect it will be commercially viable? If it you think the secret can remain secret for a long time and are confident that no one will be able to figure it out on their own, you may prefer to keep it as a trade secret. The formula for Coca-Cola was developed over 100 years ago, and it is still a trade secret. As patents have a limited duration, and are made public when they are issued if the inventor of Coca Cola had patented it, the patent protection would have run out long ago. Today anyone would be able to use the formula. Very often lawyers assist inventors in making choices between seeking to protect an invention with a patent or by relying on trade secret law. See the section on Trade Secret Law for more information.

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