While some argue that a patent may protect their invention, others believe that hiding it is more effective.

For example, in 1876, Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone under Patent No. 174,465.

According to the Harvard Business Review, Bell?s patent is now the most valuable in history.

Compare that to ten years later, when Dr. John Pemberton decided to forgo a patent and instead create what would become the world?s most famous trade secret: the Coca-Cola formula. 

Dr. Pemberton knew that creating a patent would only give his company twenty years of exclusive rights to their formula.

However, while a trade secret technically lasts forever, it is a risky way of protecting an invention. For budding entrepreneurs, it is essential to know the options you have when it comes to protecting your intellectual property. Not all protections are the same, and some may be better than others.


Scholarship Essay Contest

Topic: What are the benefits of trade secrets over patents?


The intellectual property attorneys at Polasek Law are proud to offer one (1) $1,000 scholarship to students for the Spring 2021 semester.

To be eligible, applicants must be a graduating high school senior OR enrolled in a trade school, college, undergraduate program, or graduate school as of Spring 2021.

Applicants must also answer a writing prompt.

How to Qualify

To qualify for the contest, you must send us the following:

  • Your name and email address;
  • Your resume;
  • Your transcript OR proof of enrollment; and
  • Your answer to the following writing prompt in 300-500 words: What are the benefits of trade secrets over patents?


Applicants must submit their materials by August 1, 2021.

One (1) winner will be announced on the website and notified by email by August 15, 2021.