Trade secret protection may last indefinitely.
Trade Secret Example
Business practices may be protected under trade secret law.
Trade Secret Fact
Business practices may also be protected by patent law. Once a patent is issued, the trade secret protection for the practice ends, but the patent limited monopoly begins.
When deciding whether to use trade secret protection to protect important company information, the trade secret owner should consider the commercially valuable life of the information, how susceptible it is to reverse engineering or independent discovery, and whether the information is subject to any other form of protection such as patent protection.
Patent protection is generally more secure than trade secrets because reverse engineering or independent discovery of the secret will not compromise patent rights. However, trade secret protection may last indefinitely while the information will be subject to patent protection for a limited time.