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Home > News > Intellectual Property: Patent or Padlock: Patents and Trade Secrets Form the Heart of an Effective IP Strategy

February 2nd, 2007

Intellectual Property: Patent or Padlock: Patents and Trade Secrets Form the Heart of an Effective IP Strategy

The intellectual property (IP) of a company is often its core asset. Acquiring, protecting, and enforcing IP involves decisions at the highest levels of the company, and IP commands a significant portion of the company's resources. For most life sciences companies, patents are usually considered to be the principle IP asset. In practice, however, these companies usually have extensive know-how, most often kept as trade secrets. If a direct comparison could be made, a typical life-sciences company probably keeps more than two-thirds of its proprietary information in the form of trade secrets. In early stage companies, particularly in relatively new technology areas such as nanotechnology, the proportion of trade secrets to patents is much higher.


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