Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Patent Law and other Invention topics.
By applying for a patent, you must disclose everything about your invention, something some companies find unacceptable. Take the Coca Cola company, for instance. The formula for Coca Cola is one of the world's best-kept trade secrets – unprotected by law. Only a handful of people in the world know the recipe.
Why would Coca Cola want to leave their most precious asset so unprotected? Patents are granted for only 20 years, but a trade secret can be kept for an eternity. And the patent process mandates that you disclose everything about your product, leaving the recipe in the public domain before too long.
Most products can be more easily imitated that Coca Cola, whose individual ingredients are not as easy to take apart and copy. For most others, obtaining a patent is the right choice to make.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|