Editorial Note: My goal in publishing this article is to bring awareness of the need to convince governments to take a new, honest look at previously classified patents, specifically those that relate to energy production and efficiency, both of which are topics of interest in industrial automation today.

A war had just ended, millions had suffered and died, and people around the world just wanted to get back to normal and rebuild their lives in peace.

From that perspective, the Invention Secrecy Act of 1951 makes a lot of sense.

But that act didn’t just classify weapon patents. It also includes categories which encompass power generation and efficiency.

This would make sense back in the 50’s, the act of classifying patents that had the potential to make family sedan (and most military vehicles) obsolete.

But seventy years later, the pollution and wars resulting from our need to fuel our planet is a much bigger problem.

If you take an honest look at most of today’s conflicts, they are directly related to energy and who has the right to drill or dig at a specific geo-location.

And while countries continue to pour trillions into military defense, many borrowing beyond their means, nearly half of mankind still doesn’t have indoor plumbing!

So I for one think it’s time for us to ask our governments to take off the “cold war goggles” for a moment, and take a fresh new look at the world as it stands today.

In the United Starts alone their are nearly 6000 classified patents, many of which directly relate to energy production and efficiency.

If these patents could be unclassified and licensed to companies to help reduce energy costs, pollution, and dependency on foreign fuel sources, not only would we be living in a cleaner, safer world, the licensing fees alone could put a big dent in our government’s debt.

Understandably, some of those technologies have a dark side, another use that could make them into weapons, but that alone doesn’t preclude their use under government supervision in public-private partnerships.

Take Nuclear power for instance. We all know of its potential to be used as a weapon of war, but that hasn’t stopped France from producing nearly 70% of its power safely from Nuclear Power.

If after reading the above you agree, then consider joining me in lobbying our local and national politicians to push for the safe use and licensing of classified clean energy technologies, and also consider signing the petition on the same topic here.

If you’re interested in learning more, check out this article here, and the new movie on this topic found on Amazon here.


Shawn Tierney
Automation Instructor and Blogger

Have a question? Join my community of automation professionals and take part in the discussion! You'll also find my PLC, HMI, and SCADA courses at TheAutomationSchool.com.

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  1. Hi Shawn. The RSView32 end-of-life announcement from Rockwell sent me down a rabbit hole that lead me here. I worked in technical support at Rockwell for twenty years, the first eight of that in HMI support. We talked to each other a LOT. This is a great article, and I will be looking into more of your stuff, as my nap schedule permits ;). Feel free to contact me if you ever think you can make use of my ancient knowledge.

    • Hey Jerry,

      Great to hear from you!!!

      If you’d ever like to share some of you experience (or stories) with our audience of 30K readers please let me know – I’m currently paying freelancers $50 per ~600-800 word article 🙂

      Let’s also connect on LinkedIn if you’re on there,

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Shawn Tierney


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