Friday, September 09, 2005

About Katrina & Use of State Secrets...

From Secrecy News:


The Congressional Research Service promptly prepared several reports related to the aftermath and implications of Hurricane Katrina. Despite congressional prohibitions on direct public access to CRS products, the latest reports were made available courtesy of Pennyhill Press."

New Orleans Levees and Floodwalls: Hurricane DamageProtection," September 6, 2005:"Price Increases in the Aftermath of Hurricane

Katrina: Authorityto Limit Price Gouging," September 2, 2005:"Disaster Evacuation and Displacement Policy:

Issues forCongress," September 2, 2005:"Tax Deductions for Catastrophic Risk

Insurance Reserves:Explanation and Economic Analysis," September 2, 2005:


Once rarely used, the state secrets privilege is now being invoked by the government with uncommon frequency to limit or block litigation. It surfaced yet again this week in an ongoing patent infringement lawsuit.

In 1998, the Crater Corporation alleged violation of its patent for an underwater fiber optic coupling device, but the government stepped in citing the state secrets privilege.

Then-Secretary of the Navy Richard J. Danzig declared that "discovery in this case could be expected to cause extremely grave damage to national security." The case was dismissed, and appealed. This week, a federal appeals court ruled that the state secrets privilege had been properly asserted, but that the district court nevertheless erred in dismissing the plaintiff's lawsuit.

A copy of the September 7 ruling in Crater v. Lucent Technologies and United States, US Court of Appeals for the Federal District, is here:

See also "Government Secrecy Request Stalls IP Case," Patently-OPatent Law Blog (thanks to MJR):

The state secrets privilege was the subject of a news segment on National Public Radio Morning Edition by Jackie Northam today.



Andrew Lahser said...

Listen to the Crater v. Lucent opinion on your iPod or MP3 player.

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