Re: Suppressed inventions

Michael Lorrey (
Tue, 29 Apr 1997 20:41:22 -0400

Carl Feynman wrote:
> There are lots of urban legends out there about great inventions that have
> been suppressed by The Powers That Be. In these stories, They seem to use
> threats, media blackouts, and murders that look like accidents. I am
> willing to believe that all such stories are bunk. However, there is
> another way to suppress an invention: licence the patent, and then don't
> manufacture it. This is entirely legal, though people don't tend to talk
> about it, as it is anti-social. Does anyone know of a time when this has
> definitely happened?

I don't know about this commercial trick, but I am personally familiar
with the Defense Department's practice of classifying patent
applications. Every patent application that comes into the patent office
is reviewed by a military liason. Anything with defense applicability,
or even merely can be considered a threat to "national security" (i.e.
anything that threatens the status quo), is classified, which means that
while you cannot get a patent, the defense department gives your
invention to a defense contractor via a laundering system that involves
national labs like Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos, Battelle, and
Phillips. This process "cleanses" the invention so the contractor can
legally make millions and billions of dollars off of your invention
while it is classified. Only once your invention has been declassified
can you receive a patent, and by then there are one or more defense
contractors who have already patented more advanced versions of your
invention, so you typically cannot get a patent by this time. Of course,
they typically do not declassify it until it has no remaining commercial

This happened to me with a device I invented that does some fun things
with police radar. It also happened to a guy I know who is an
oceanographer at UW. He invented an underwater microphone to listen to
whale songs and underwater seismic activity. Turns out it is so
sensitive that the Navy classfied it due to its potential for use in
anti submarine warfare. Being rather miffed, and having the resources of
the UW behind him, he brought the Navy to court. Evnetually they settled
out of court. Now the Navy is the only licensee of his invention, in
return for which, accredited scientists can have free access to Navy
underwater listening stations at scheduled times, as well ass access to
tape archives that have been "filtered" of sensitive content.

			Michael Lorrey
------------------------------------------------------------		Inventor of the Lorrey Drive

Mikey's Animatronic Factory My Own Nuclear Espionage Agency (MONEA) MIKEYMAS(tm): The New Internet Holiday Transhumans of New Hampshire (>HNH) ------------------------------------------------------------ #!/usr/local/bin/perl-0777---export-a-crypto-system-sig-RC4-3-lines-PERL @k=unpack('C*',pack('H*',shift));for(@t=@s=0..255){$y=($k[$_%@k]+$s[$x=$_ ]+$y)%256;&S}$x=$y=0;for(unpack('C*',<>)){$x++;$y=($s[$x%=256]+$y)%256; &S;print pack(C,$_^=$s[($s[$x]+$s[$y])%256])}sub S{@s[$x,$y]=@s[$y,$x]}