Why Coca-Cola Never Patented Its Formula

This article, inspired by the apparent recent public dissemination of the Coca-Cola formula (albeit an earlier version of the formula), succintly highlights the difference between the protections provided by patent law, on the one hand, and trade secret law, on the other.  Simply put, patent law arguably offers more comprehensive protection, but provides that protection for a limited time and requires full public disclosure of the claimed invention.   On the other hand, while trade secret protection can, in theory, last forever, it can be lost if the confidentiality of the allegedly protected subject matter is not maintained.

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