Would A Patent's Title Be Classified?

from the just-wondering... dept

Ira writes in to point us to a patent application on a sort of weapons device, where the title of the patent is listed solely as "Classified." It would be interesting if some patent attorneys in the crowd could weigh in on this. If the purpose of the patent system is to distribute knowledge, then you would think a classified patent doesn't make much sense -- but this is even odder, in that it's the title, not the patent itself (which is for some sort of weapon), that is "classified." It could be that the inventor himself (Peter Lockhart) set the title as "classified" but that doesn't make much sense either. Anyone know what's going on here?
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Filed Under: classified, patents


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  1. identicon
    gene_cavanaugh, 12 Dec 2008 @ 8:23pm

    Patent labeled "Classified"

    The military has the right take a patent out of distribution and simply note that it is "Classified". This, IMHO, leads to more abuse than harm. The intent is to prevent the free dissemination of knowledge to terrorists, etc. (imagine a pocket sized, undetectable nuclear weapon); but since there are no checks and balances, the real reason for doing this can be almost anything. I know of at least one case where it was used for purely political reasons, no threat existed. Yet I can't even tell you why it happened!
    I think it might be good if we had some sort of checks and balances (this is a democracy, isn't it? I sometimes wonder).

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