Invention Secrecy Activity in 2016
Date: Sunday, January 01, 2017 @ 18:29:59 GMT
Topic: Legal

From the FAS site - Project on Government Secrecy

Invention Secrecy Activity
(as reported by the Patent & Trademark Office)

The Invention Secrecy Act of 1951 requires the government to impose "secrecy orders" on certain patent applications that contain sensitive information, thereby restricting disclosure of the invention and withholding the grant of a patent. Remarkably, this requirement can be imposed even when the application is generated and entirely owned by a private individual or company without government sponsorship or support.

There are several types of secrecy orders which range in severity from simple prohibitions on export (but allowing other disclosure for legitimate business purposes) up to classification, requiring secure storage of the application and prohibition of all disclosure.

At the end of fiscal year 2016, there were 5,680 secrecy orders in effect.

Total Secrecy Orders in Effect         5680
(at end of FY16)

New Secrecy Orders Imposed           121

Secrecy Orders Rescinded                 20

Sponsoring Agencies for New Secrecy Orders
    Foreign Origin                               4
    ARMY                                         32
    NAVY                                         41
    AF                                             29
    DOE                                            3
    NSA                                            1
    DTSA                                          8
    NASA, DARPA                               3

New DoD Secrecy Order Types
    Type 1 (export control)                 48
    Type 2 (classified)                          1
    Type 2 (foreign PSA)                      4
    Type 3                                        62
New Non-DoD Secrecy Orders             6

"John Doe" Secrecy Orders
(imposed on private inventors)           49


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