USPTO Ends Screening Of 'Sensitive' Patent Applications

Law360, San Diego (March 3, 2015, 9:19 PM EST) -- The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Monday scrapped its little-known but contested program that flagged some “sensitive” patent applications for added review, saying it was not heavily used and had no great benefit.

The USPTO's Sensitive Application Warning System, started in 1994, subjected inventions that could attract unwanted press coverage, had broad scopes or were seemingly silly to possible additional layers of screening. Some attorneys said they were alarmed by the program's potentially wide scope and the USPTO's failure to notify applicants if their invention was tagged for the program.

The agency said that unlike in the early 1990s, most...

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