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U.S. patent law Edit
A patent secrecy order bars the grant of a U.S. patent if it is imposed on a pending patent application. This has the effect not only of depriving the inventor of exclusive rights in the United States, but also of such rights abroad, as an inventor who has received a secrecy order on an application cannot obtain patent rights abroad.
The USPTO does not determine if the subject matter of the patent application is of a nature that would warrant imposition of a secrecy order; this is the duty of various governmental entities charged with administration of national security.