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07/12/2005 Archived Entry: "Gordon on patents"
Gordon P. comments on patents, The number of "national security" gag-orders issued to patent applicants by the U.S. FedGov has been steadily increasing for the last 6 years, from 18/yr in 1999 to 61/yr in 2004. Also, the rate at which secrecy orders are cancelled after review has dropped drastically since 9/11. In 2000, just under 250 U.S. "National Security Secrecy Orders" were rescinded, because after review the technology in question was judged to "no longer be a threat to national security;" however, from 2001 onward, the rate at which National Security Secrecy Orders were being rescinded dropped _by more than a factor of 2_, to less than 100 Secrecy Orders rescinded per year.
Currently, 4885 U.S. National Security Secrecy Orders are in force, as opposed to 4741 in 2001. Some of these secrecy orders have been in force since the 1930s...
I must confess to mixed feelings about such orders. On the one hand, since I am opposed to IP, the fact that FedGov officials _refuse_ to grant someone a patent monopoly would seem to be a Good Thing --- but OTOH, it pisses me off no end to see documentary proof that FedGov "Men In Black" really _do_ exist, and are actively working to suppress technology... >:-( (Full article...sorry --- subscription required to access full text... :-(