If money is not a huge factor, why not have a patent for the "warm fuzzy" AND saturate the market? Provisional patent applications aren`t even really looked at, much less published so I`m not sure how a red flag would be given to the big companies?
I checked into the trade secret act/ laws for my project & I think I have that option also. Based on my experience with this venture, I know you can do anything if you want it bad enough (at least that`s what I keep telling myself). Meaning if they want to replicate it, they`ll find a way. That in mind, I`m going to have to pull the trigger and take a chance either way. If I file for a provisional, I get a year until the formula is out there. If I use trade secret, I`ll have until they see me as a threat?