عنوان مقاله [English]
In the past and before granting the inventors and owners of intellectual property rights special exclusive rights and privileges under the patent laws, the protection of intellectual property rights was possible only through a legal regime which could help to keep the know how and innovation secret. This regime, in which contractual terms are often used to keep the innovation secret, is called trade secret. However, after the introduction of modern patent system under which a disclosed trade secrete could be protected, some owners of intellectual property rights kept relying on the old regime of trade secrets. They believed that trade secret regime is more efficient to protect their rights than a legal regime based on patent laws. These developments led to the recognition of trade secret regime as an independent mechanism for protection of the intellectual property rights based on fair competition and professional and commercial ethics alongside the patent regime. The inventors, therefore, have an option to opt for either of the regimes, i.e. patent or trade secret regimes.