Before filing a patent, some businesses may want to consider trade secrets protection instead.
Business information is only a trade secret if it is protected from disclosure. Businesses may choose to treat information as a trade secret, rather than filing a patent on it, to prevent the public disclosure of such information. More importantly, while a patent has a fixed life span, a trade secret – if it is maintained as a trade secret – has an indefinite life span. For example, the Coca Cola formula is probably one of the world’s most valuable trade secrets.