If you are interested in the USPTO's Sensitive Application Warning System (SAWS), I recommend reading entrepreneur Devon Rolf's guest post on IP Watchdog: Secret Examination Procedures at the USPTO: My Experience with SAWS.
Does SAWS have a basis in statutory law and/or regulatory rules? The article makes it sounds like SAWS is, among other things, designed to disallow US patent applications that could generate "undue publicity" or "embarrassment." I am not sure how much latitude Congress is granting the USPTO, but perhaps the USPTO can help applicants understand how this all works.
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