Business owners often ask whether they should protect their intellectual property with a trade secret or a patent. The answer is: It depends.
What Can Be Protected?
The first thing to consider is what it is that needs to be protected. A trade secret protects a business’s confidential and proprietary information. The information can be a formula, process, or customer list.
A patent protects an invention. The invention can be an article of manufacture, a machine, a process (such as software), or a composition of matter (like a chemical formula).
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