Tonight, I suggest reading the Yahoo News article The US Government Has a Secret System for Stalling Patents.
The article notes that documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) reveal the USPTO's Sensitive Application Warning System (SAWS).has been imposing extra scrutiny and delay on any US patent application designated as containing sensitive subject matter. The USPTO may do this without publishing that the application is a SAWS case. What makes subject matter sensitive? An application might be designated if it describes (1) a business method; (2) algorithms rejected under 35 USC 101; (3) claims that might be used (i.e., infringed) by the USPTO; (4) subject matter embarrassing to the USPTO; and (5) subject matter likely to trigger media attention.
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