Patents have become a big problem in recent years. It is much easier to simply not publish your documentation, than the alternative: to publish it (either openly or under NDA), have a competitor catch wind of your design and locate some vague patent they have that seems to cover some aspect of it, and spend years in a costly court battle, only to end up cross-licensing your valuable portfolio just to avoid being sunk by deliberately anti-competitive licensing fees.

It's only going to get worse from here on out. Ironically, while the patent system was originally designed to encourage publication, it is rife with problems currently which actually encourage secrecy, because that's the only way to avoid being the target of a lawsuit over some vague concept that a competitor happened to hold a patent on. Of course, you will have your own patents on vague concepts, so it's only a matter of who fires first. The hope with the secrecy approach is that nobody fires, because in the end the only winners are the lawyers.

Score:5, Informative