LENR Patents, Dr. Schwarz and the USPTO.

  • Best of luck Mitchell. Until the patent office recognises LENR, it appears that only other forms of IP protection are realistic... (like not telling anyone..)

    I do not think you can protect cold fusion IP by not telling anyone, unless your only goal is to take the secret to the grave. Which many people have done. The moment you do anything useful with cold fusion, everyone will find out. If you have no patent they will reverse engineer your device and take your IP without paying. Without a patent, there is no way to protect cold fusion IP. You can protect less important discoveries with trade secrets, but not cold fusion.

    I do not agree that the problem is the Patent Office does not "recognize" cold fusion. If I understand the Patent Office judgement, the Patent Office stands ready to recognize cold fusion and grant a patent to Swartz. The judgement says he must prove the reaction is real and that it can be replicated from the patent. That seems reasonable to me. If I were the judge, I would make the same demands. With most patent applications, the Patent Office examiner assumes that the device works as claimed, and that it can be replicated. However, the Patent Office reserves the right to demand proof. In the case of cold fusion I agree it is necessary to prove your claim, because many mistaken claims have been made.

    If the device does work, it would be easy to arrange high-quality, convincing verification tests. It would harder to show that it can be replicated from the patent, but I think that could also be done. I assume Swartz has not done either of these things, because he did not respond to the court.

  • After discussing with people from innovation domain, I'm convinced :

    • there will be no way to lock LENR with a patent, as there is no way to block a tsunami.
      • like with a tsunami best would be not to put wall, but to free the way, and just take a fee along the long way.
    • when LENR is recognized, the wave will be so powerful that
      • any patent of interest to give tiny advantage will be valuable as a tiny part of a mega huge value
        • if you ask tiny fees, it will be worthless to argue with you, and you will be paid
        • if you ask big fees, it will be so valuable to circumvent your patent that you will be circumvented
      • any expert, assumed expert, possible expert, will be valued as long as he may help, even maybe, and maybe maybe.
        • even if everybody stole your ideas, you will be valued as someone who can have new ideas, which is invaluable
      • the wind of innovation will be so fast that even pig will fly.
        • fight to create the wave, and don't care of the way to surf, A Stonehenge pillars would float over that wave.

    Problem is to start the wave, and the method is a big question.

  • After discussing with people from innovation domain, I'm convinced :

    there will be no way to lock LENR with a patent, as there is no way to block a tsunami.

    I am not sure what you mean by "block".

    Perhaps you mean "prevent, stall or slow down" the development of the technology. Patents are not intended for that purpose. If you get a patent for an important technology, and the U.S. Government thinks you are using it to prevent development by sitting on it, and by not licensing it, the government can revoke the patent. On rare occasions they have done this. So, the idea that a large energy corporation might invent something crucial to cold fusion, or "buy up patents," and thereby prevent the development of cold fusion is mistaken. The government will not allow that. A corporation might prevent the development of a minor technology with that method, if Uncle Sam did not notice, and the inventor agreed to it.

    Perhaps you mean that an inventor or a company can lock in large amounts of money with a patent. Yes, that can be done. A patent can be worth billions of dollars.

    Nothing can lock in a large market share because, as I said, for a technology as crucial as this, the government will insist the patent be licensed to major industrial corporations. It will not allow a monopoly. Minor patents and patents for things like new drugs can be used to establish a temporary monopoly, until the patent expires. That is why the patent for popular drugs such as Viagra are worth a fortune. Viagra earned $1.93 billion in the U.S. market alone from 2003 - 2013. A generic version was licensed in 2017. The patent will expire in 2020.

    There is a conflict between patent law and antitrust law.

  • Nothing can lock in a large market share because, as I said, for a technology as crucial as this, the government will insist the patent be licensed to major industrial corporations. It will not allow a monopoly.

    In other words, if you have an essential patent, you might get royalties from every company that makes cold fusion devices, and you might make boatloads of money, but you cannot "corner the market" or reserve a large market share for yourself or for a few of your licensees. The government will not allow you to restrict licensing to only a few companies. Or only to yourself in your own company. You will have to license many different companies. You will not be allowed to keep it yourself and be the only cold fusion reactor manufacturer in the U.S. (This is yet another reason Rossi's scheme of selling power with remote control is preposterous, besides the fact that it would be dangerous and it would violate a long list of safety regulations.)

    I do not know about other countries.

    This is what experts in patents told me. This is especially the way things work in the U.S. when the technology has important military applications. Cold fusion has many of these. It will revolutionize many different military technologies, both directly in weapons, and in non-weapon applications such as vehicles.

    If you get a patent for a minor invention that will have no impact on the economy, and has no military applications, then I believe you are allowed to manufacture it yourself without licensing any other manufacturer, or to license it to only one manufacturer. However, if the government judges that the invention is important, or somewhat important anyway, that manufacturer cannot sit on it, without making it. It has to make and sell the devices, or the government will intervene. You cannot use the patent system to suppress a technology. The purpose of the patent system is to benefit society while rewarding the inventor. If you deliberately withhold benefits from society, and Uncle Sam notices that's what you are doing, the patent may be revoked.

  • JedRothwell My meaning was to lock a market for your interest, reserve yourself most of the added value (not stall the development straight).

    As You say, it is impossible to lock up LENR to make the most of money only for you.

    It is not only a legal question as you explain, but simply impossible because of market and people forces.

    You have to share.

    Someone told me that the rules of business is that more or less you make money proportionally to what you put on the table. Usually if you put a billion on the table you get half as benefit... if you are really on a locked market with great advantage (think of Microsoft Windows), you can expect to double.

    That money is usually there to build the manufacturing infrastructure, the marketing, the market structuration... and technology is a tiny point in that.

    An inventor don't put much money, so cannot expect billions back. There is apparently an exception to the above rule that makes the inventor be paid few millions, like a tip to the guy who make it possible, but most money is for the guys who put the billions on the table to make it real.

    I forgot to say that most money is not even for the investors, but for... the clients... with cost saving and service.

    Never forget that the always winning is the client.

    Only the king could afford an ice cream... and I have few pots in my surgelator today. I'm the king.