Back in 2009, IPBiz had a post titled
The “patent control policy” of World War II and US 2,852,687 which in part related to “secret” patents
and included the text:
Fortunately for [Vannevar] Bush, however, U.S. patent law had been specifically amended so as to permit patent applications to be ordered held in secret in extraordinary circumstances. The original legislation had been passed during World War I to allow patents with military implications to be declared “secret” during wartime, and in 1940 and 1941 the statute had been revised to apply during peacetime as well and to have stiffer penalties associated with the violation of secrecy orders (the original penalty having been simply loss of patent title).33 The result of this legislative action was Public Law No. 700, a bill that allowed the Patent Office (via the authority of the Commissioner of Patents) to declare patent applications secret, preventing both their publication and access in the United States and
also blocking their filing outside of the country. The question of whether the application would be granted was put on hold until the secrecy order had been lifted. If the patent was eventually granted, the inventor could then work out problems of interference with subsequently granted patents and could sue for compensation if the government had used the patent in the interim.
Fast forward to the year 2018, and ARVIND DILAWAR has a post at Slate titled The U.S. Government’s Secret Inventions which included the text
Invention secrecy in the U.S. dates back to at least the 1930s, but it really took off in the ’40s, when the development of nuclear weapons was shrouded in classification.
See also the post in the July 2009 issue of Inventors Digest The government is classifying more innovations as secret in the name of national security.
The 2018 article in Slate is treading old groundContinue Reading ...