from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2015, Issue No. 76
November 13, 2015

Secrecy News Blog:


Last year, 95 secrecy orders barring disclosure of inventions under the Invention Secrecy Act of 1951 were imposed on new patent applications while 36 prior secrecy orders were rescinded. Three of the newly releasable inventions have recently received patents, decades after the inventors filed their applications.

The three new patents were identified by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

The formerly secret inventions that received patents this year are:

Patent Number 9057604: Point-ahead laser pointer-tracker systems with wavefront correction in both transmit and receive directions. Filed in April 1989, the patent application was finally granted in June 2015.

Patent Number 9115993: Fused PM fiber single-polarization resonator. It was filed in August 1990 and granted in August 2015.

Patent Number 9181140: Solid propellant bonding agents and methods for their use. It was filed in December 1993 and granted in November 2015.

The factors that led the U.S. government to impose secrecy orders on these particular inventions more than two decades ago (and to release them this year) are not self-evident. But neither do they seem to indicate an obvious abuse of authority.

There were a total of 5,579 invention secrecy orders in effect at the end of fiscal year 2015, the highest number of such secrecy orders since FY 1993.


New and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that have been withheld from broad public distribution include the following.

Federal Research and Development Funding: FY2016, November 10, 2015:

The Speaker of the House: House Officer, Party Leader, and Representative, November 12, 2015:

Fifth Circuit Declines to Lift Injunction Barring Implementation of the Obama Administration's 2014 Deferred Action Programs, CRS Legal Sidebar, November 12, 2015:

Temporarily Filling Presidentially Appointed, Senate-Confirmed Positions, November 10, 2015:

Congressional Nominations to U.S. Service Academies: An Overview and Resources for Outreach and Management, November 10, 2015:

Researching Current Federal Legislation and Regulations: A Guide to Resources for Congressional Staff, November 9, 2015:

Federalism Issues in Surface Transportation Policy: A Historical Perspective, November 6, 2015:

Veterans and Homelessness, November 6, 2015:

U.S.-Mexico Water Sharing: Background and Recent Developments, November 10, 2015:

Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress, November 10, 2015:

Navy Ship Names: Background For Congress, November 9, 2015:

Navy Ohio Replacement (SSBN[X]) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress, November 9, 2015:

Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)/Frigate Program: Background and Issues for Congress, November 6, 2015:

Navy DDG-51 and DDG-1000 Destroyer Programs: Background and Issues for Congress, November 6, 2015:

Navy TAO(X) Oiler Shipbuilding Program: Background and Issues for Congress, November 6, 2015:

Navy LX(R) Amphibious Ship Program: Background and Issues for Congress, November 6, 2015:

Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress, November 5, 2015:

Obama Administration Rejects Keystone XL Pipeline Permit Request: Could Congress Nevertheless Approve It?, CRS Legal Sidebar, November 9, 2015:


Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.

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