Skip to main content

Trade Secrets Vs. Patent Protection


An alternative to patent protection is trade secrecy protection. Trade secrets can include software, databases, or any type of valuable information that is not generally known but which gives the owner a business advantage. The owner of a trade secret must take reasonable steps to keep the information confidential, such as locking away important documents, or passwords protecting computer files. The law prevents competitors from obtaining trade secrets through theft, bribery, espionage, or hiring away a business' employees. Competitors are permitted to discover independently a trade secret through their own efforts, or to reverse engineer a trade secret by examining a product in order to learn how it works. Employees of technology firms are frequently required to sign confidentiality agreements promising to keep their employers' valuable information secret.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Trade Secrets Vs. Patent Protection." Computer Sciences. . 20 Apr. 2019 <>.

"Trade Secrets Vs. Patent Protection." Computer Sciences. . (April 20, 2019).

"Trade Secrets Vs. Patent Protection." Computer Sciences. . Retrieved April 20, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.