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Can inventions be protected only by patents?

Individuals who have created a technical innovation have two options to protect their creation: either through the patent system or through the trade secret system. Under the patent system, individuals must disclose their invention to receive protection, which in turn helps to advance society. Once the patent term expires, the invention becomes publicly available. In contrast, those who opt for trade secrets keep their technical solutions confidential, resulting in a weaker form of protection compared to patents.


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