If you've developed a new chemical compound, you might have considered protecting it as a trade secret. While this may work well for some soda manufacturers, trade secret status isn't always a reliable way to protect your invention. To reach trade secret status, you need to develop a sure-fire way to protect your product from breach, which can be difficult to do. Here are four reasons why it's smarter to obtain patent protection, instead of going for trade secret status.
Patents Protect Your Chemical From Being Reverse-Engineered
One of the problems with having a trade secret is that anyone can legally obtain your product and then reverse-engineer it to uncover the secrets. Once those secrets are revealed, there's no protection for the person who owned the original product. The only requirement is that the product be obtained legally, which means someone couldn't come into your lab and steal a sample for reverse-engineering.
Patents Protect Even After Discovery
When you receive patent protection for your chemical, it's protected from day one. That includes protection after discovery. This means that if someone were to identify the components of your product through reverse-engineering, as described previously, your patent will prevent anyone from benefiting from the discovery. That includes whether they obtained your product through legal channels, or not.
Patents Are Easier to Obtain
One of the benefits of choosing patent protection over obtaining trade secret status is that obtaining the patent is an easier process. To obtain trade secret status, you need to devise a way to keep your chemical secret from everyone. Whether that's paying someone to physically guard your secret, or locking it away in a safe somewhere, you're responsible for keeping it out of the public eye. However, with a patent, all you need to do is pay the fees, document the chemical, and apply for the patent. Once you receive the patent, your chemical is protected under patent laws.
Patents Are Easier to Enforce
One of the problems with trade secret status, is that trade secret laws are different most countries. That means your chemical may be deemed a trade secret in one country, but not in another. Unfortunately, that will make your trade secret status difficult to enforce. However, patent laws apply regardless of where your chemical is located, which makes it easier to enforce.
If you've developed a new chemical, or product containing multiple chemicals, you need to obtain patent protection for it. Speak to a chemical patent attorney near you, such as Sheri Higgins Law,Sheri Higgins Law, to obtain the protection you need.