Inventions of importance to defence

An invention of importance to defence is an invention deemed to be of significance to the defence of the realm, for example military equipment. They are also known as secret patents or classified patents.. However, special rules apply to filing, processing and communication in these applications.

What is an invention of importance to defence?

The Act on Inventions of Importance to Defence applies to inventions of significance to defence of the realm:

  • when the invention has been made in Norway, or
  • a patent application has been filed for the invention in Norway, or
  • when someone resident in Norway wholly or partially owns the invention or has the right to make use of it.

Important: It is your responsibility as applicant to ensure compliance with national security provisions.

How to apply for patents for inventions of defence importance

If you wish to obtain legal protection for your invention, you must file a patent application at the Norwegian Industrial Property Office (see Section 3 of the Act on Inventions of Importance to Defence).

If you believe that the application may have significance to defence of the realm, you should inform us accordingly. Write, for example "Application of importance to defence" on an envelope in which the application is placed, and then enclose this envelope in a "clean" envelope which is either sent to the Norwegian Industrial Property Office by post or is delivered by hand. Applications which are covered by the Act or which you believe may be covered by the Act must not be filed through electronic channels (such as Altinn or e-mail).

Even if a patent application is of importance to defence, it may be possible to apply for a patent in other countries. You cannot use the international patent system (PCT) or the European patent system (EPC), as neither of these systems enables us to keep applications secret beyond the usual 18 months from the oldest priority date or filing date.

If you wish to apply for a patent abroad, you must contact the Norwegian National Security Authority (NSM) for clarification. This must be done in good time before the application is to be filed in the individual country.

National Security Authority

Citizenship and place of residence

Several states have national legislation restricting the filing abroad of applications of importance to defence on the grounds of national security. All applicants from countries outside Norway (regardless of citizenship) should therefore ensure compliance with any national security restrictions in the country where they are resident before they apply for a patent in Norway.

If you are going to make use of the invention but not apply for a patent

The Act on Inventions of Importance to Defence applies even if you are not going to apply for a patent. In such cases you must contact NSM yourself before publishing and/or starting to make use of your invention.

Do you have any questions?

Contact us if you have any questions about patents or inventions of importance to defence. Enquiries can be addressed to the Customer Service Centre on (+47) 22 38 73 00.

NB: If you send an e-mail you must not include information about the invention itself.

Contact us

Organization Number: 971 526 157
Postal Address: Patentstyret,
Postboks 4863 Nydalen,
N-0422 Oslo
Address: Sandakerveien 64, 0484 Oslo
Support Center: +47 22 38 73 00

Telephone enquiries: Monday – Friday 9am – 3.45pm.

We are open every weekday

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