With the erosion of patent owners’ rights over the last decade thanks to a stack of adverse U.S. Supreme Court decisions and the America Invents Act, companies in the technology, life sciences and other spaces are starting to shift their intellectual property strategies to focus more heavily on trade secrets to protect their innovations, IP lawyers say.
Trade secrets have always been part of companies’ well-rounded IP protection programs, but the Supreme Court’s active involvement in putting stricter limits on patents, and some of the provisions of the America Invents Act have caused a more significant shift to keeping more trade secrets.
While patents publish descriptions of how to make and how to use inventions, the patent is limited to 20 years so that everyone may use it after the 20 years. This promotes progress of science and the useful arts as required by the United States Constitution by publication and a limited time for the exclusive use by inventors.
Trade secrets can be kept forever, as long as they are not published and thus defeat the United States Constitutional purpose for intellectual property rights. It seems that the U.S. Supreme Court and the Congress prefer to ignore the United States Constitutional purpose set forth for intellectual property and would prefer exclusivity for trade secret holders forever so as to retard progress of science and the useful arts as much as is possible.
Why are our elected leaders and appointed judges ignoring the supreme law of the land mainly the United States Constitution? Or could it just be the best possible use for PAC money?