Secret Inventions

A secret invention means a technical solution comprising a state secret and being of extraordinary importance for the country’s defense in the field of military technologies, foreign-policy, economic, intelligence, counterintelligence and operative-investigative activities, which disclosure may cause damage to the country’s security. In accordance with Article 1401 of the RF Civil Code, an application for the grant of a patent for a secret invention made in an enterprise of the military-industrial complex or in a field related thereto shall be filed, depending on its subject matter, with the federal executive authority authorized by the RF Government and shall be considered in the framework of the legislation on state secrets.

Other application for inventions made in enterprises not related to the military-industrial complex shall be filed with Rospatent. Some of them may be classified as secret under the procedure established in the legislation on state secrets if during their examination it is found that disclosure of information contained therein may cause damage to the country’s security. Data on such applications shall not be published. The possibility of converting an application for an invention into an application for a utility model is not applied to a secret invention. In a case where the applicant is a foreign natural person or legal entity, an application shall not be allowed to be classified as secret and shall be examined according to the routine procedure. But, as a rule, such applications are very rare and are connected primarily to a poorly qualified examination of original applications in patent offices of countries poorly developed scientifically, such applications being usually related to technical solutions of dual purpose.

A term of classifying data forming a state secret shall not exceed 30 years, but may be prolonged in extraordinary cases. This means that in a number of cases a patent for a secret invention may, after its term is officially expired, be still considered as a state secret. Physical carriers of secret data are classified by the same term, as a minimum, through the law on state secrets does not provide for a maximum term of their classification. In principle, prominent designers, inventors and scientists developing breakthrough technical solutions in an extraordinarily important sector of the military field and bringing same to the stage of pilot production trials and  implementation into large-scale production. Such classification is well justified, since foreign intelligence attempts to obtain not only a classified information, but also those who generates this information by their creative work, and sometimes such attempts are aimed at physical elimination of such persons. Enterprises and organizations involved in works on scientific and technical developments having extraordinary importance for the country’s defense capacity are also classified.


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