Posts in Trade Secrets.
Best of Both Worlds: Can You Have a Trade Secret and Patent it Later Too?

In 1886, Dr. John Pemberton created the formula for Coca-Cola.1 The formula for Dr. Pemberton’s beverage sensation did not even make it onto paper until 1919 when the recipe was secured in a vault where it remained for 86 years until its relocation to an exhibit at The World of Coca-Cola.2 The Coca-Cola Company formula, one of the world’s most famous trade secrets, has been kept secret for more than 125 years.3 While trade secrets enjoy certain protections, such a formula could potentially benefit from patent protection. With its long history, the question remains: does ... Read More ›

Posted in: Trade Secrets

Throughout time industries have developed techniques and processes that are believed to be essential elements that contributed to the company's success.  For almost as long, companies have sought and devised ways to protect those techniques and processes that constituted the company's intellectual property. Many companies turned to federal patent protection, others chose to treat the information as trade secrets, and others chose to use contractual obligations to protect their intellectual property. These various forms of protection were especially meaningful in what ... Read More ›

This article reviews the television show “Shark Tank” on a weekly basis, with a focus on the intellectual property (IP) embodied by the products or business ideas each contestant pitches on that show. As always, keep in mind the following types of IP protection:

  • A utility patent is used to protect the functional aspects of an idea, and this is what the Sharks (judges) are for the most part referring to when they inquire into how contestants have protected their ideas.
  • A design patent protects the ornamental appearance of an article.
  • A trademark protects any word, symbol or design that ...
Posted in: Trade Secrets

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