Patent protection vs. trade secret protection: a brief look at benefits, disadvantages, P.1

For businesses, protecting valuable business information from competitors is an important task that deserves careful, ongoing attention. This is particularly true for businesses in highly competitive industries where innovation is critical and the risk of losing employees to competitors is high.

One potentially important tool businesses can use to protect valuable business information is patent protection. The two most common types of patent are utility and design patents. Utility patents are for inventions or discoveries of any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or an improvement on such matters. Design patents are for new, original and ornamental designs for already existing articles of manufacture. 

Patent protection can be obtained for almost any product that is man-made and upon the processes for making any product. Two important conditions for obtaining patent protection, though, are that the product is both novel and non-obvious. This basically means that the specific patent to be sought does not already exist, either explicitly or as an already obvious aspect of a prior patent. It is important for businesses to carefully examine existing patents to ensure they don’t infringe on a patent-holder’s rights.

Usually, patent protection lasts for 20 years, giving the patent-holder the right to exclude others from making, using or selling the invention in the United States. Patents must be enforced to be effective, just like other forms of intellectual property protection. There are different ways to do this, such as negotiating licensing agreements privately and filing a patent infringement lawsuit in federal court.

Patent protection is certainly valuable, but there are some drawbacks. In our next post, we’ll look at how patent protection compares to another important form of intellectual property protection: trade secret enforcement. 

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Hear From Our Clients

Mr. Skolnik and Mr. Gaboury have represented me on multiple cases over the past two years. They are dependable, knowledgeable, and professional. They provided high quality legal guidance for my small business during a difficult time and brought me a peace of mind. I highly recommend Cox Padmore Skolnik & Shakarchy as your legal business representative. -Anonymous

Read More Reviews

Contact Us

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Tap To Request An Exploratory Consultation

New York Office
630 Third Avenue
23rd Floor
New York, NY 10017

Phone: 646-355-1648
New York Law Office Map

Great Neck Office
98 Cutter Mill Road
Suite 310N
Great Neck, NY 11021

Phone: 646-355-1648
Great Neck Law Office Map

Hackensack Office
27 Warren Street
Suite 304
Hackensack, NJ 07601

Phone: 646-355-1648
Hackensack Law Office Map

Denver Office
1060 Humboldt Street
Denver, CO 80218

Phone: 646-355-1648
Denver Law Office Map