SAFE Corporation is looking for great ideas

There are a lot of unanswered questions about source code, and we want to work with you to figure them out. We realize that currently accepted algorithms for analyzing, comparing, and measuring source code leave a lot to be desired in many cases. Also, there are a lot of techniques that have never been studied on large bodies of modern code. For example, measurement techniques developed in the 1970s were probably tested on assembly languages and older programming languages like BASIC, FORTRAN, and COBOL. Do they still hold on modern object oriented languages like Java and C#?

If you have a research idea relating to code analysis, and you can use the SAFE tools, let us know. Email Larry Melling, VP of Sales and Marketing with your ideas. If they pass our review process you’ll get free licenses to our tools, free support, and help getting your results published. This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Trade secrets vs. patents

When you have a useful invention should you file for a patent or maintain it as a trade secret? A comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of patents and trade secrets are given in the table below.



Trade secrets

Public or private?

Public. A patent can be kept secret for 18 months after it is filed, after which it must be published.

Private. Trade secrets must never be made publicly available.

Owner’s legal action

Easier. The government has put its stamp of approval on the invention.

Harder. The owner must prove that the invention qualifies as a trade secret and that the defendant did not independently invent it.


High. There is a significant cost to “prosecute” a patent, which includes the attorney costs, filing costs, and costs to address all patent office rejections and actions.


Protection from theft

Harder. The invention is described in detail to the public.

Easier. The invention is kept secret.


Limited. The government grants rights for 17 to 20 years after which anyone can produce the invention.

Unlimited. As long as the invention is kept secret.


Restricted. The owners are only the patent holders who are on record with the patent office.

Unrestricted. If the invention is created independently, any number of inventors and owners can exist.