What's the difference between a trade secret and a patent?

A patent can protect inventions, innovations. Trade secrets can do the same thing, but trade secrets can also protect information like data, client lists, software, things that are able to be kept as a trade secret.

What happens to a trade secret once a patent is filed?

When you file a patent for an invention, the patent is going to get published at some stage, and therefore the information that is provided in the patent cannot be kept as a trade secret. So, it’s important to understand if you are filing a patent, eventually the information in the patent, the information about the invention is going to get published, and therefore is no longer a trade secret.

If you need plain English advice on patents or trade secrets, get in touch with one of our experts.