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Navy Sinks Lawsuit with State Secrets Claim

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  1. National Security
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The federal government claimed a rarely-used state secrets privilege to quash a company’s claim of patent infringement. When Crater Corporation filed suit against Lucent Technologies to protect its patent on an underwater fiber optic coupling device, the Navy intervened to block discovery, saying the information probing could “cause extremely grave damage to national security.” An appellate court has now ruled that the state secrets privilege was properly asserted but that the trial court should not have dismissed the lawsuit. (9/8/05)