HC Deb 14 January 1975 vol 884 c63W
Mr. Douglas-Mann

asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many patents are registered in the name of his Department; how many are classified as secret; and what considerations are taken into account when decisions are taken to declassify previously secret patents.

Mr. William Rodgers

There are approximately 400 United Kingdom patents at present in force and registered in the name of the Secretary of State for Defence. None of these patents is classified as "secret", since patents are not granted in respect of classified inventions. There are approximately 90 "secret" patent applications in the name of the Secretary of State. In taking a decision whether or not to declassify a "secret" patent application, the Secretary of State is required by Section 18 of the Patents Act 1949 to consider whether publication of the invention would be prejudicial to the defence of the realm.