Q: I have an idea for a new business. How do I know if I should file for a patent or just keep it a trade secret?
That can be a tough call, but generally depends on a few things: 1. Whether what you have is protectable by a patent, 2. Whether the information can truly be maintained confidentially.
The first question can be answered by a patent lawyer by performing a patentability assessment. The answer to the second question depends on what the information is. Sometimes, it cannot be kept secret simply by its nature. Other times, government regulations require disclosure. If you are evaluating how to grow and protect your market share in a new business venture, I strongly recommend engaging the assistance of a lawyer experienced with entrepreneurs, intellectual property, and startups. Good luck!
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