37 CFR 5.1: Applications and correspondence involving national security

Taken from the Ninth Edition of the MPEP, Revision 07.2015, Last Revised in November 2015

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5.1    Applications and correspondence involving national security.

  • (a) All correspondence in connection with this part, including petitions, should be addressed to: Mail Stop L&R, Commissioner for Patents, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, Virginia 22313-1450.
  • (b) Definitions.
    • (1) Application as used in this part includes provisional applications (§ 1.9(a)(2) of this chapter), nonprovisional applications (§ 1.9(a)(3)), international applications (§ 1.9(b)), or international design applications (§ 1.9(n)).
    • (2) Foreign application as used in this part includes, for filing in a foreign country, foreign patent office, foreign patent agency, or international agency (other than the United States Patent and Trademark Office acting as a Receiving Office for international applications (35 U.S.C. 361, § 1.412) or as an office of indirect filing for international design applications (35 U.S.C. 382, § 1.1002)) any of the following: An application for patent, international application, international design application, or application for the registration of a utility model, industrial design, or model.
  • (c) Patent applications and documents relating thereto that are national security classified (see § 1.9(i) of this chapter) and contain authorized national security markings (e.g., “Confidential,” “Secret” or “Top Secret”) are accepted by the Office. National security classified documents filed in the Office must be either hand-carried to Licensing and Review or mailed to the Office in compliance with paragraph (a) of this section.
  • (d) The applicant in a national security classified patent application must obtain a secrecy order pursuant to § 5.2(a). If a national security classified patent application is filed without a notification pursuant to § 5.2(a), the Office will set a time period within which either the application must be declassified, or the application must be placed under a secrecy order pursuant to § 5.2(a), or the applicant must submit evidence of a good faith effort to obtain a secrecy order pursuant to § 5.2(a) from the relevant department or agency in order to prevent abandonment of the application. If evidence of a good faith effort to obtain a secrecy order pursuant to § 5.2(a) from the relevant department or agency is submitted by the applicant within the time period set by the Office, but the application has not been declassified or placed under a secrecy order pursuant to § 5.2(a), the Office will again set a time period within which either the application must be declassified, or the application must be placed under a secrecy order pursuant to § 5.2(a), or the applicant must submit evidence of a good faith effort to again obtain a secrecy order pursuant to § 5.2(a) from the relevant department or agency in order to prevent abandonment of the application.
  • (e) An application will not be published under § 1.211 of this chapter or allowed under § 1.311 of this chapter if publication or disclosure of the application would be detrimental to national security. An application under national security review will not be published at least until six months from its filing date or three months from the date the application was referred to a defense agency, whichever is later. A national security classified patent application will not be published under § 1.211 of this chapter or allowed under § 1.311 of this chapter until the application is declassified and any secrecy order under § 5.2(a) has been rescinded.
  • (f) Applications on inventions made outside the United States and on inventions in which a U.S. Government defense agency has a property interest will not be made available to defense agencies.
[43 FR 20470, May 11, 1978; revised, 62 FR 53131, Oct. 10, 1997, effective Dec. 1, 1997; revised, 65 FR 54604, Sept. 8, 2000, effective Nov. 7, 2000; para. (e) revised, 65 FR 57024, Sept. 20, 2000, effective Nov. 29, 2000; para. (a) revised, 68 FR 14332, Mar. 25, 2003, effective May 1, 2003; para. (a) revised, 69 FR 29865, May 26, 2004, effective June 25, 2004; para. (b) revised, 80 FR 17918, Apr. 2, 2015, effective May 13, 2015]