Do Trade Secrets Really Protect Your Inventions?
If your business involves any sort of invention, proprietary software, or unique production method that gives you an advantage over the competition, it is important that you understand how to protect it. Depending on your industry and market, such trade secrets could be your company’s bread and butter; without them, you may find yourself struggling to keep your head above water. It is therefore imperative that you are aware of the legal protections available to keep this information from being revealed.
The Weaknesses of Trade Secrets
The main concern regarding trade secrets is that a competitor will use the various legal means at their disposal to uncover the information. For example, a mechanical or chemical invention might be reverse engineered to discover exactly how it works; from there, it is easy enough to reproduce the product. Remember, the owner of a trade secret only has protection against those contracted not to disclose the information; anyone, however, can purchase the product for reverse engineering. This is why most business attorneys will encourage you to apply for a patent.
Obtaining a Patent
If you have an invention that’s at risk of being duplicated, a patent is probably your best chance at protecting it. A patent basically puts the world on notice that the invention is the result of your hard work and expertise, and that they cannot use it. On the other hand, there are trade secrets and inventions that are not eligible to be patented. In most cases, your best course of action is to consult with an experienced Boston business attorney. He or she will help you determine what legal actions you can take to protect your secrets, maintain exclusive control over them, and keep that competitive edge moving forward. To learn more about trade secrets and the best ways to protect your business, contact Jeffrey Cymrot of Sassoon & Cymrot for individual guidance and consultation.