I am developing some ideas which would seek to apply capabilities from a couple of distinct areas of higher mathematics in potentially unique ways to the Information Technology field. If these bear out as hoped, I will be confronted with making a decision about the relative merits of pursuing patent coverage versus relying on trade-secret status.
Anecdotally, I have received conflicting feedback about the relative reliance of these options among major software vendors; e.g., some asserting that vast swaths, if not virtually all, of the Windows operating system relies on trade secret status to avoid compulsory method and claims disclosure requirements associated with patent pursuit; other insisting that employee/developers of this, or other, major IT firms are essentially compelled to pursue patent coverage whenever possible. I am very interested in receiving a more impartial assessment of which of these characterizations is the more accurate.
And I do realize that the recent Supreme Court ALICE CORP. versus CLS BANK decision may have seriously thrown a wrench into how this might be answered, so I suppose I should request that the characterization be framed in before and after terms if possible. Thank you.
1 Answer from Attorneys
This is not a question that can be easily answered in the abstract, and would in any event require pages and pages of explanation. Much will depend on exactly what you have developed, and whether it is patentable in the first place. Much will depend on how your creations are to be used.
You will need to meet specifically with an attorney who handles intellectual property matters to help you determine the best course of action, once your ideas are sufficiently developed.