For companies that rely heavily on R&D, such as those in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and associated manufacturing industries, IP forms some of their core assets. Protecting these assets is critical, and choosing between patents and trade secrets is not always straightforward.
This decision involves flexibility, understanding, and factoring in the ever-changing case law interpretations, which can take place years or even decades after the initial decision has been made. When weighing these factors, IP practitioners may decide that shifting from patent to trade secret protection is more favorable. But, with information so easily accessible and shareable, it is increasingly difficult to maintain trade secrets in confidence. While there is no one-size- fits-all answer, there are guidelines available for IP practitioners in these specialized fields where R&D is a key company asset and of paramount importance to protect.
This article originally appeared in Life Science Leader magazine. Read the full article below: