Proprietary engineering technology can be preserved as a corporate or personal asset by patents and trade secrets. In many segments of the chemical process industry, these assets contribute significantly to corporate valuation and the ability to compete. The purpose of this chapter is to set forth the basic elements of patents, trade secrets, and related issues of “intellectual property,” as a guide to the chemical engineer. To obtain, maintain, and enforce patent or trade secret rights or to apply these guidelines to specific situations, the engineer is advised to consult with an attorney.