"Black Patents" On The Rise, USPTO Statistics Show

Law360, New York (July 10, 2005, 12:00 AM EDT) -- U.S. secrecy orders curtailing patents on private inventions have increased steadily in recent years, according to statistics published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

In 1999, only 18 private U.S. citizens had their inventions gagged under government secrecy orders. However, by last year the figure had risen to 61, the agency reported.

Including patents filed by companies such as defense contractors, 4885 secrecy orders are now in place in the U.S., compared with 4741 in 2001.

New secrecy orders spiked in the wake of the...
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