This implies something that isn't true: that Tony Stark has to choose between the two strategies. In reality, he could choose to patent parts of the Iron Man suit and keep other parts trade secrets. As we software developers well know, you are allowed to patent each individual innovation, not just the whole of a product.
For example, Stark Industries could get multiple patents on the suit software. They could get separate utility patents on the thrusters, the briefcase fold-up design, and some of the suit-specific weapons. Additionally, they'd try to get design patents on each of the suit designs. But, they could still keep the power generation unit and the navigation software secret.
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I watched this movie and thought about BCI, computer vision and marvel comics.
A lawyer takes a look at it and sees patents, laws and court.
I didn't even pay attention to the part where Peppers was talking on the phone about patents. To me, it was just some business blabla needed for the scene to make her look busy.
However, I did pay close attention to how he manipulated his 3D, his home interface, the jargon used, the software (no comments) etc.
See http://www.iasa.com.au/folders/Publications/Legal_Issues/the... for some of the background on that case.
English must be so weird for non-native speakers.
When was the last time anyone here read a patent and thought "now I have all I need to implement"?
Software patents are funny things.
I read it about 6 months ago, it will give you some clarity of thought about these matters. And apart from the odd gratuitous computer metaphor it is quite minimal -- you could probably use it as a reference if necessary.