When an inventor has produced an innovation, she traditionally patents the idea. Patenting allows her to prevent others from copying her idea for the life of the patent. In addition, it prevents a later inventor who conceives of the idea independently from subsequently patenting exactly the same idea and after that preventing the first inventor from utilizing her own invention.
However, there is another option for protecting an invention without filing a patent, the choice of secrecy. Using secrecy to guard an invention, the new invention simply fails to disclose the details in the invention by filing a patent application or through publication or any other public disclosure.
Secrecy is an effective protection once the important invention should not be readily discovered. For example, chemical processes are frequently difficult to discover even when one knows the composition from the final product. The formulas and processes might be challenging to determine, despite expensive experimentation. Similarly, software inventions can not be reverse engineered when they are kept securely protected in the inventor’s own servers.
If another inventor later independently creates and patents the same invention, the original inventor has a defense against a control of patent infringement as a result of her prior commercial utilisation of the invention. This defense is available in the event the original inventor used the invention commercially a least 1 year ahead of the subsequent inventor knwpez filed the patent application or publicly disclosed the invention just before patenting the invention. However, if the use was under a year before the subsequent InventHelp filed the patent application, then the original inventor has no prior commercial use defense.
Protecting an invention by keeping it secret is probably a risky strategy if one’s competitors are pursuing an identical product development strategy. They might develop exactly the same invention and file for protection before an entire year of commercial use has generated the prior commercial use defense. And they are likely to try if one’s own product utilizing the invention is a winner. Nevertheless for inventions that are hard to discover and that one believes competitors will not discover independently soon, secrecy is a wonderful option.
An inventor choosing secrecy should treat the invention being a trade secret, limiting the internal dissemination of information regarding the invention and marking the details as secret or confidential. The InventHelp Success should also rigorously document the earliest date of commercial use.
The greatest advantage of secrecy is that it never expires. However, valuable secrets are frequently discovered independently and surprisingly quickly by competitors, or these are leaked or stolen. Competitive advantages do not usually go unnoticed and un-duplicated for too long.