What are the advantages of holding a trade secret?
The big advantage is, there’s no public disclosure of your secret. A patent is a public document, copyright is a public document, trademarks are public documents, so it’s all out in the public.
But if you can keep your black box secret and people send you information and you give them answers, well then you’ve saved yourself the expense and the time limitation of those issued rights, patents, trademarks, copyrights.
But if somebody innocently discovers your secret and they come up with the same answer that you did, then you’ve lost your secret because it’s no longer secret.