To the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
via email to [email protected]
April 26, 2012

This is in response to the April 20, 2012 PTO Federal Register notice requesting comments on the feasibility of imposing secrecy orders on economically significant patent applications.

I would recommend against adopting such a policy for the following reasons.

  • Economic security is not analogous to national security, so the use of secrecy orders is inappropriate to protect economic security.
  • The secrecy order process is inconsistent with Congress' declared concern about protecting U.S. inventors.
  • The "nonpublication request" procedure noted by PTO is a superior alternative to a secrecy order.
  • Finally, with respect to national security-based secrecy orders, I would recommend that the current Patent Security Category Review List be published in order to enhance the reliability of the secrecy order system.
  • Thank you for considering these comments.

    Steven Aftergood
    Project Director
    Federation of American Scientists
    1725 DeSales Street NW, Suite 600
    Washington, DC 20036

    email: [email protected]