Saturday, October 22, 2016

Patent New Technology: Lose Your Rights

The Feds Won’t Buy This $19 Million Stealth Boat—or Let It Be Sold Abroad
With his patents under gag order, Gregory Sancoff is being ghosted by the government.

Self-made millionaire Gregory Sancoff has spent a decade and $19 million building a highly unusual stealth boat. Called Ghost, it’s designed to be faster, more stable, and more fuel-efficient than anything currently in the U.S. Navy’s fleet, he says. “It’s such a smooth ride, you can sit there and drink your coffee going through six-foot swells,” he proudly told Bloomberg Businessweek in 2014.

But there’s a problem: The Pentagon doesn’t want Sancoff’s boat—and also won’t let him sell it abroad.

Early on, the government served Sancoff with secrecy orders, which meant he wasn’t allowed to show the patents or technology to anyone. Those secrecy orders were removed for a few years. But last year the government placed Juliet Marine Systems Inc. under the watch of International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). “It’s basically the same as a secrecy order,” says Sancoff. “I need government permission, if I want to show anybody anything.” Since then, the Portsmouth, N.H.-based startup has had to lay off 17 of its 20 employees, and Sancoff sued the government to recoup damages. “We’ve fallen into a very weird place,” he says. “If the U.S. doesn’t want this, fine. But why not let us sell to friendly nations? We’ve had so much interest from countries like Japan, Korea, Qatar.”

Go THERE for a full video and more info - very cool.

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