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1) Trade secrets and patents are the forms of intellectual property protections available for Widget Co. to protect the quality assurance process and materials that’s Maurice’s team have developed.
2) The advantages of Trade Secrets are that it protects secret processes, formulas, methods, procedures, and lists that provide the owner with economic advantage. The Downfall to Trade Secrets is that once the secret is made public, anyone may have access to it and use it at will and if someone else comes to the trade secret by legitimate means then it can be patented. Patents give the inventor the right to stop others from manufacturing, copying, selling or importing the patented goods without consent from the patent holder. The patent holder has exclusive commercial rights to use the patented invention. Some disadvantages of patents are after the exclusive patent period of 20 years has passed, other individuals or companies can freely use the invention without permission from the inventor.
3) Assuming that Widgets Co. relies on the process and materials developed by Maurice’s team for economic advantage, then the hypothetical scenario would qualify as a trade secret. The functioning business uses the highly developed processes for quality assurance and efficient production of widgets.
4) To achieve the objective of having a trade secret rather than a misappropriation by one of two ways: 1) by being the first to use the mark in commerce or (2) by being the first to register the mark with the U.S. patent and trademark Office.
5) For Widget Co. to gain copyrights for their videos and manuals they must show that the information is original, some degree of creative, and fixed in a durable medium. If the manuals and videos were simply compiled of facts already known in the industry then they are not protectable because it doesn’t satisfy the requirements.