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kojax
Post  Post subject: Secret Patents  |  Posted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:10 am
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What happens if a person "invents" something that is already being developed by the military under a secret patent? Like maybe something that's classified, and they don't have the clearance to be aware of it, but they developed it on their own and applied for a patent?

Do men in black suits show up at the person's door holding a copy of the "official secrets act" or something like that?

What if they've file a provisional patent application and then gone and told others about it?


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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: Secret Patents  |  Posted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:37 am
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is there such a thing as a secret patent ? the whole point about patents is that they get published to show precedence - some patents may not be very informative or may even be downright misleading, but it's either in the public domain or it isn't a patent

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Secret Patents  |  Posted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:28 pm
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I agree with marnix, and had the same thought. However, for the purpose of discussion let's say there are patents (which sounds silly if they need it to remain secret, but whatever)... if an inventor arrives independently at the same technology, that's not really a problem unless they try to sell it... much the same with ANY patent.

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kojax
Post  Post subject: Re: Secret Patents  |  Posted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 11:15 pm
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Yeah. I guess they don't actually patent, or allow to be patented, those technologies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invention_Secrecy_Act

Sucks for the person who came up with the idea originally, though. I wonder if they can do that for new technologies also?

Maybe you invent an anti-gravity device, someone in the Pentagon decides it has military applications, and so you're denied a patent even despite being the first person to come up with the technology?


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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Secret Patents  |  Posted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 3:32 am
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kojax wrote:
Maybe you invent an anti-gravity device, someone in the Pentagon decides it has military applications, and so you're denied a patent even despite being the first person to come up with the technology?

OMG, that would make me so angry, but I can't imagine that happens or has ever happened before. Different offices tend to maintain a degree of sovereignty from influence of other branches of government. If anything (if the above happened), you'd think the military would bring you in as some sort of contractor or consultant and pay you so they could use it for themselves... They essentially pay you not to sell it to anyone else (like pharmaceutical companies often do when generic offerings of their drugs come out). Our military budget is hardly small, after all. Easier to pay you and buy the rights than send in the MIB. :)

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kojax
Post  Post subject: Re: Secret Patents  |  Posted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:01 am
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I managed to find this:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/othergov/invention/35usc17.html

FAS wrote:
Sec. 183. Right to compensation

An applicant, his successors, assigns, or legal representatives, whose patent is withheld as herein provided, shall have the right, beginning at the date the applicant is notified that, except for such order, his application is otherwise in condition for allowance, or February 1, 1952, whichever is later, and ending six years after a patent is issued thereon, to apply to the head of any department or agency who caused the order to be issued for compensation for the damage caused by the order of secrecy and/or for the use of the invention by the Government, resulting from his disclosure.

The right to compensation for use shall begin on the date of the first use of the invention by the Government. The head of the department or agency is authorized, upon the presentation of a claim, to enter into an agreement with the applicant, his successors, assigns, or legal representatives, in full settlement for the damage and/or use. This settlement agreement shall be conclusive for all purposes notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary. If full settlement of the claim cannot be effected, the head of the department or agency may award and pay to such applicant, his successors, assigns, or legal representatives, a sum not exceeding 75 per centum of the sum which the head of the department or agency considers just compensation for the damage and/or use. A claimant may bring suit against the United States in the United States Court of Federal Claims or in the District Court of the United States for the district in which such claimant is a resident for an amount which when added to the award shall constitute just compensation for the damage and/or use of the invention by the Government.

The owner of any patent issued upon an application that was subject to a secrecy order issued pursuant to section 181 of this title, who did not apply for compensation as above provided, shall have the right, after the date of issuance of such patent, to bring suit in the United States Court of Federal Claims for just compensation for the damage caused by reason of the order of secrecy and/or use by the Government of the invention resulting from his disclosure. The right to compensation for use shall begin on the date of the first use of the invention by the Government. In a suit under the provisions of this section the United States may avail itself of all defenses it may plead in an action under section 1498 of title 28. This section shall not confer a right of action on anyone or his successors, assigns, or legal representatives who, while in the full-time employment or service of the United States, discovered, invented, or developed the invention on which the claim is based.



So I guess they still do compensate.


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Ascended
Post  Post subject: Re: Secret Patents  |  Posted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:19 pm
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This reminds me of a story I heard many years ago, I'll say straight off the bat I have no idea if there was any truth to it, but the story went something like this.
Back in the early 1950's an inventor came up with a design for a light bulb that he claimed would never need replacing, the inventor was said to have come up with many things before but this was his biggest claim to fame. He had put his light bulbs into production and advertised them in a local paper and magazine, they were being retailed through several local shops. Within weeks of the adverts coming out his company was bought out buy a large company making standard light bulbs, all of his light bulbs completely disappeared from the shops, his factory closed down and he was never heard from again.

Now that could be purely an urban legend, but it could also be a blue print for what might happen with advanced military technology, the thing is here though if a government wants to supress a particular technology then the minute a patent application is submitted is giving them advanced warning.

Probarbly far better to ignore the patent route and go straight to production and an arms fair, harder to supress technology that already exists in the metal and they arn't likely to sue and admit they've already had the technology for some time.

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Secret Patents  |  Posted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:33 pm
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Along similar lines...At another forum, I have a friend his passionate about the fact that we could have significantly better battery powered cars already, except Chevron bought the rights and won't let it be used.

Quote:
Through a subsidiary company, Chevron is sitting on a patent for NiMH battery technology that could give us a completely electric car practically overnight, improving on GM's EV-1 technology with a large format NiMH battery that would give it well over 100 miles on a charge. Chevron will only allow the large format NiMH technology to be used on gas / electric hybrids and refuses to sell to anyone building a completely electric car.

I feel this is wrong, a violation of the spirit of the US Patent Office. If I can get my advocacy group to boycott Chevron's products and services until they stop suppressing technology which makes us dependent on them and on foreign oil purchases, would that be blackmail by your definition? Chevron is legally sitting on this technology but in this instance their suppression of one market to preserve their current market is helping to feed terrorism and give economic stimulus to questionable governments.

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GiantEvil
Post  Post subject: Re: Secret Patents  |  Posted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:03 am
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iNow wrote:
Along similar lines...At another forum, I have a friend his passionate about the fact that we could have significantly better battery powered cars already, except Chevron bought the rights and won't let it be used.

Quote:
Through a subsidiary company, Chevron is sitting on a patent for NiMH battery technology that could give us a completely electric car practically overnight, improving on GM's EV-1 technology with a large format NiMH battery that would give it well over 100 miles on a charge. Chevron will only allow the large format NiMH technology to be used on gas / electric hybrids and refuses to sell to anyone building a completely electric car.

I feel this is wrong, a violation of the spirit of the US Patent Office. If I can get my advocacy group to boycott Chevron's products and services until they stop suppressing technology which makes us dependent on them and on foreign oil purchases, would that be blackmail by your definition? Chevron is legally sitting on this technology but in this instance their suppression of one market to preserve their current market is helping to feed terrorism and give economic stimulus to questionable governments.

There are many apocryphal urban legends concerning suppressed technologies. If indeed this story is true, I believe the perpetrators actually deserve life imprisonment. I only say life imprisonment as opposed to death because i suspect that in the long run life imprisonment is crueler than death. Although in this case the death of the perpetrators would be at least slightly satisfying.

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Secret Patents  |  Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:31 am
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GiantEvil wrote:
If indeed this story is true...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_enc ... nd_Cobasys

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GiantEvil
Post  Post subject: Re: Secret Patents  |  Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:09 am
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iNow wrote:
GiantEvil wrote:
If indeed this story is true...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_enc ... nd_Cobasys

Actually, I didn't doubt the stories veracity, I just didn't want to face such an actuality. Quite depressing really. Does anyone have any ideas for something we can do about this? Short of starting a bloody revolution.

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