Invention Secrecy Still Going Strong

Linked on our blogs with Federation of American Scientists FAS, and with Orion Project.

Published on FAS’ Blog Secrecy News, by Steven Aftergood, October 21, 2010,
and also in the Newsletter of The Orion Project*, same day.

There were 5,135 inventions that were under secrecy orders at the end of Fiscal Year 2010, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office told Secrecy News last week.  It’s a 1% rise over the year before, and the highest total in more than a decade.

Under the Invention Secrecy Act of 1951, patent applications on new inventions can be subject to secrecy orders restricting their publication if government agencies believe that disclosure would be “detrimental to the national security.”

The current list of technology areas that is used to screen patent applications for possible restriction under the Invention Secrecy Act is not publicly available and has been denied under the Freedom of Information Act. (An appeal is pending.) But a previous list dated 1971 and obtained by researcher Michael Ravnitzky is available here (pdf).

Most of the listed technology areas are closely related to military applications. But some of them range more widely … (full text).

* They write in their latest Newsletter: The Federation of American Scientists has published an extremely important article entitled Invention Secrecy Still Going Strong. It comes from a mainstream organization and corroborates information The Orion Project has presented. We are constantly asked, “If better energy systems exist, why are they not available for public use?” The following article addresses one reason: The systematic suppression of energy inventions by abuse of the national security provisions of U.S. law. This means that thousands of inventions have been suppressed- and more than that number through national security orders not issued via the patent process. This is why the Orion Project has a specific strategy to develop and bring out to the public such energy inventions: One that stands up to these abuses. With your help we can do it!

Comments are closed.