27 Apr '12, 1pm

Patent Office Weighs Patent Secrecy for 'Economic Security'

In response to congressional direction, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is considering whether to expand the scope of patent secrecy orders — which prohibit the publication of affected patent applications — in order to enhance “economic security” and to protect newly developed inventions against exploitation by foreign competitors. Currently, patent secrecy orders are applied only to patent applications whose disclosure could be “detrimental to national security” as prescribed by the Invention Secrecy Act of 1951. At the end of Fiscal Year 2011, there were 5,241 such national security secrecy orders in effect . But now the Patent Office is weighing the possibility of expanding national security patent secrecy into the “economic security” domain. “The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is seeking comments as to whether the United States should identify and bar from publi...

Full article: http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/2012/04/pto_economic.html

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