Cold Fusion Symposium at Williamsburg LENRS-12 1-3 July, 2012

The following is a further posting in a series of articles by David French, a patent attorney with 35 years experience, which will review issues of interest touching on the field of Cold Fusion.

This posting is about an event that occurred over the week of the Fourth of July celebrations. It is not an attempt to report on the science or physics presented on this occasion, but rather to remark on the special atmosphere that exists when proponents and researchers in the Cold Fusion field gather to address their favorite topic.

Over July 1-3, 2012, a group of some 40 to 50 Cold Fusion researchers and advocates assembled for a Symposium held at the University of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. The title of the event was: International Low Energy New Nuclear Reactions Seminar, ILENRS-12. The object was to exchange experiences and knowledge in the Cold Fusion field. The list of attendees was impressive. Included were: Beverly Barnhart (DoD); Jean-Paul Biberian (CINaM, France); Dennis Bushnell (NASA, LRC): Peter Hagelstein (MIT); David Nagel (GWU); Mike McKubre (SRI International); George Miley (UIll) and Mahadeva Srinivasan (BARC- retired, India), as well as many other significant participants in the field.

I arrived early, driving down from Ottawa, Canada, and was therefore sufficiently rested to attend the Sunday night, July 1, opening event: registration combined with a cocktail reception on the William & Mary campus. This was an important initial gathering which was attended by almost everyone.

From the very beginning there was a feeling of camaraderie and egality in the air at this event. While not a Solvay Conference, the importance of the subject and the potential for imminent breakthroughs that might be shortly occurring was in the air. Everyone had a sense of anticipation that perhaps someone amongst the gathering might one day be a Nobel Prize winner.

These opening social exchanges are an important part of any conference event. With only 40 – 50 participants, 10 or so of whom were to be presenters, the atmosphere was very collegial. People assembled in groups of two, three and four, changing circles every 15 or 20 minutes. Everyone present was entitled to listen-in with a certainty that if you stood by for a minute or two you would be find yourself being introduced all round and accepted into the discussion. From that moment on you would be judged by your sharing of intelligent observations and your attentive listening. There was no expectation that you would be a serious expert in the field. Everyone was there to learn.

The next day opened with short introductory remarks followed immediately by presentations by Beverly Barnhart from the Department of Defense, essentially present as an observer, and then by Dr Peter Hagelstein of MIT. Peter is continuing to carry the torch for the original Pons & Fleischmann premise that deuterium atoms can be fused together in a condensed matter environment to form helium without producing high-energy particles or electromagnetic radiation. Peter reported that he is getting close to a mathematical model which would allow direct coupling of the energy from excited atomic nuclei to be transmitted to an adjacent crystal lattice. This could help explain the “miracle” of the absence of high-energy particles or electromagnetic radiation.

Further presentations followed from George Miley who reported on the detection of ultra-high-density hydrogen/deuterium nano-clusters in metal defects; Liviu Popa-Simil who reported on his concepts for a fusion-based battery; Denis Bushnell who summarized initiatives at NASA to study the LENR phenomenon; Mike McKubre commenting on the results of exploding fine nickel wires that have been loaded with hydrogen and deuterium and others who names will eventually be provided, as well as the content of their remarks, in the report on the Symposium.

It was clear by the end of the first day of presentations that there is still no clear theory yet to explain the phenomena of “unexplained excess energy – UEE”. There were no extensive references to the Widom & Larsen theory of electron capture, with the focus being more directed towards experimental data and alternate ideas rooted in a fusion phenomenon.

After the first day’s presentations, everyone was transported by bus to the site of Yorktown on the peninsula between the York and James Rivers where General Cornwallis surrendered his British Army to the encircling French and American armies commanded by George Washington. The noise level from talking in the bus on the way out was incredible. This evening dinner event by the river provided another social occasion for people to discuss face-to-face the questions that concerned them most, and share what they could contribute to answering other people’s questions. The noise level in the bus on the return was quieter, but lots of people were still talking.

The format for the second day was, after a few presentations, a series of moderated panels in which the panelists responded to questions put to them by the moderator, or raised by the audience. The effect was in keeping with the overall objective of the entire event, to address people’s concerns and help everyone better understand what has been achieved in closing-in on the mystery of Cold Fusion, or UEE.

The best part of an event of this character is that the contributions of speakers was generously given and warmly received even though the presentations may not have been perfect. Nobody provided a report that some great breakthrough had been achieved. Great leeway and forgiveness for imperfections can always be expected when the content has potentially great value. This is not to say that the presentations were deficient. The questioning was polite and an air of geniality, graciousness and polite behavior permeated the room in which an intense desire to understand was a commonly shared objective.

Some of the arcane information shared was that permeability of Palladium containing silver reaches a maximum at a silver content of 31% ; – would this be relevant to enhancing the prospects for precipitating an UEE event? And an even more arcane observation made was that the power output in the core of the Sun is less than 1 milliWatt per cubic centimeter. This observation invoked generous laughter when it was combined with the declaration that, by comparison, contemporary Cold Fusion researchers are achieving “stellar results”.

(Support for this reality can be found in this document: CPEP: Online Fusion Course , referenced in Wikipedia, here. This figure is also supported by NASA data on the energy output of the Sun obtainable from the Marshall Space Flight Center website on solar physics.)

The reality is that the Sun is not a perpetually exploding hydrogen bomb or even a furnace of unimaginable magnitude. It is a heat-containing body that has had 4.5 billion years exposure to a trickle of core-generated energy that will not stop but which takes a long time to work its way out through the 700,000 km trip to the Sun’s surface. There are many more cubic centimeters of volume in the core of the Sun than there are square centimeters of Sun surface area to radiate this energy. This explains the Sun’s apparently modest power output on a cubic centimeter basis. Cold Fusion researchers by comparison truly are achieving stellar performance.

I personally gave a short presentation on Patents and Cold Fusion, making the point that a patent will not be available for the person who eventually provides the theoretical explanation for this phenomenon. They may qualify for a Nobel Prize, but a patent requires the identification of an apparatus or arrangement which produces a useful result.

Many patents are being filed for Cold Fusion and the US PTO as a matter of policy is requiring applicants to demonstrate that the promised results can be produced by following the instructions provided in the patent applications. I was challenged to identify a case where such evidence was successfully presented, resulting in a patent issuing in this field. I could not answer the question directly and now have my homework set out for me. I will now have to read some several dozen of the patents that I have referred to in my earlier postings as being classified under “nuclear fusion”. When I find such a reference, I will definitely share the results with everyone.

David French is a retired patent attorney and the principal and CEO of Second Counsel Services. Second Counsel provides guidance for companies that wish to improve their management of Intellectual Property. For more information visit: www.secondcounsel.com.
David French is prepared to address questions included as commentaries to any of his postings or by direct email. In particular, he would like to learn what people need to know in order to better understand patents.

33 thoughts on “Cold Fusion Symposium at Williamsburg LENRS-12 1-3 July, 2012

  1. Bernie Koppenhofer

    David: Would you expand on the reasons why, if someone had a demonstrable LENR devise, they would not simply demonstrate it to the patent office to get a patent?

    1. David J. French

      The patent office will accept a demonstration on their premises if it is not too complex and time-consuming. Most Cold Fusion devices presently in the labs are a complex labyrinth of components. If you had a jar that would boil a cup of coffee for tea and took it to the US Patent Office, you would most certainly overcome any objections that your invention may be based upon a principle of Cold Fusion, whatever that may be. The Patent Office does not require you to provide any theory. They only want to see a working apparatus.

      If you were to provide the Patent Office with properly prepared written reports, sworn before a Notary, from two independent engineering firms of good reputation stating that they had followed the instructions in your patent disclosure and definitely were able to generate unexplained excess energy, then your patent application should be allowed. If this did not occur, then I would recommend starting a campaign to have inventors and businessmen/women all over the country write to their congressmen and senators. But I think two such declarations would do the job. Eventually, the Patent Office might only require one.

      I will be away for a week as of Saturday morning. I trust others will not be offended if I do not immediately reply to relevant comments.

      1. Rockyspoon

        I thought the Patent Office’s objections to cold fusion were twofold:

        1) Based on untenable science (there is no science extant to explain it).

        2) Not in the public interest (which is laughable, since something of this magnitude would definitely be in the public interest, but perhaps not amenable to those involved in the current energy paradigm).

        Just wondering how they’d go about issuing a patent based on your listed requirements, considering what they currently require–or are my two points bogus?

        1. David J. French

          The Patent Office standard rejection does start with the statement that an apparatus said to operate on cold fusion is suspect because Cold Fusion is considered to be an un-proven phenomenon. The Patent Office does not require that the applicant file a patent application that describes a valid, working theory, or any theory it all. In fact, it is better not to provide a theory and it is really important that you not base your claims, which define your exclusive rights, upon a theory. If you do, the person you sue will force you to prove that their device operates on the basis of your theory. It is sufficient for you to describe how to build a working device. It is sufficient to provide a recipe for a cookie batter; you do not have to describe what is happening in the oven.

          The Patent Office presently does presume that the cold fusion effect is suspect. This shifts the burden to the applicant to prove that they have described how to build a working device. Do that and you should obtain a patent.

          I know of no grounds for basis for saying that the Patent Office refuses patents based on a cold fusion effect simply on the basis that it would be against the public interest. But it could be against the public interest to issue such patents when in fact the alleged invention does not work or the disclosure is inadequate. Such patents would be invalid. Worse, they could be used as an engine to perpetrate fraud.

          1. Ivy Matt

            I believe the second objection mentioned by Rockyspoon refers to the utility requirements:

            http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/documents/2100_2107_01.htm

            The phrase “benefit to the public” is often used by the courts in relation to the utility requirements, as in Nelson v. Bowler:

            Practical utility is a shorthand way of attributing “real-world” value to claimed subject matter. In other words, one skilled in the art can use a claimed discovery in a manner which provides some immediate benefit to the public.

            “Immediate” here means, as I understand it, that the invention can be used as is for a practical purpose, without requiring further developments.

  2. Gary Wright

    Hi Mr. French,
    Another nice article. I always look forward to your postings.
    Even though invited to this Seminar, but not able to make this one, stories like yours help us imagine we were there in person with everyone.

    I am looking forward to the day someone will walk in to a Seminar like this with a powerful working device, heating up all the water for tea and coffee 24hrs a day, using no energy input.
    Thanks again,
    Gary

    1. GreenWin

      Gosh Gary, “…using NO energy input??” We have yet to see a demonstration of LENR that does not require some catalytic energy input. Do you know of some secret formula to accomplish this? Many of us are very interested in what you know.

      1. Mark

        GreenWin:
        I suggest you read at least some of the extensive material on LENR at lenr.org. At least that way you’d be speaking from an informed position.

        Dr. Edmund Storms has been involved with this field of research while he was at Los Alamos Natl Lab, and then retired and continues the work to this day. He has no doubt that there is unexplained heat (which likely cannot be attributed to chemical processes), and that there is a strong indication of energetic particles indicative of some kind of nuclear processes. He published an excellent Review article in 2010 or 2011 if you’d care to educate yourself a little. You can find it at lenr-org…

        In addition, Professor Arata’s experiments in Japan, which have been reproduced, used no chemical, electrical or heat energy… and produced heat. These experiments used pressurized H or D (can’t remember which), and yes, it obviously took some energy to pressurize the gas, but please explain how the diffusion of H or D gas thru a wafer of solid material can generate heat which cannot be explained by the Standard Model… at least, not yet. If just a small percentage of the physicists at CERN were working on theoretical models for LENR, you’d probably have the answer in a year or two…

        Also, check out the 60-Minutes program originally aired April 2009, titled, Cold Fusion is Hot Again, by Scott Pelley. Vice Chancellor of Research for Univ of Missouri, Dr. Robert Duncan, was very skeptical and thought CF was debunked 20 years ago, but when he accepted the challenge by 60-Minutes, and he accompanied them to various labs and companies working on LENR, AND READ THE PAPERS HIMSELF, it completely changed his mind. He is a physicist with expertise in low temperature measurements, so he is VERY familiar with heat, and all the instrumentation used to measure it accurately. He was so impressed with what he saw that he started an effort at the Technology Incubator near the UofM in order to more closely study this excess heat effect so as to understand what’s happening. That is what a true scientist should want to do…

        And that’s only the tip of the evidence iceberg… there are hundreds of peer-reviewed papers available… some good, some not so. So please, Get Informed! The information is READILY available; all it takes is a little time to read it.

        Good Day,
        -Mark

  3. Robert Ellefson

    Mr French,

    Thank you for your time in describing your experiences and opinions; your articles are much appreciated.

    I am curious about the boundaries of patentability of new applications for LENR reactors with existing processes. For example, once a commercial LENR reactor is available, will the first company to hook it up to an existing water desalination process be eligible for patent protection covering all similar forms of LENR-powered desalination? This would seem to violate the nonobviousness criteria, but coming from a background in consumer electronics, I’ve grown accustomed to seeing that standard violated with alarming frequency and audacity.

    It would be a real shame if a small handful of industrialists manage to emerge from the land-grab of IP resulting from the introduction of new LENR devices hoarding the keys to basic processes required to fully realize the transformative potential of LENR.

    Thanks for any comments you would care to share about these boundaries.

    1. David J. French

      This is the big question: what can be patented once cold fusion is established as a working phenomenon?

      Anything that has been disclosed previously will, essentially, not be patentable once the new American law is in effect. The statement in the above comment regarding the use of a cold fusion energy source: “hook it up to an existing water desalination process” qualifies as a public disclosure and will prevent patenting such a broad and general idea. Additionally, the comment reflects a suggestion that is “obvious”. It will not be possible to patent anything which is obvious in view of what has been previously known.

      But there will be vast opportunities for patenting details. Any new arrangement which is both different from what has been done before and “unobvious” will be patentable. But will that difference makes a difference? Many suggestions will be made for new arrangements that will be patentable, but few will be valuable. The best combination will be a valuable new arrangement for which there are no close alternatives that could be substituted, and for which there are no suggestions in the prior art that will make the arrangement “obvious”. Occasionally, someone might hit on an arrangement that meets these requirements and is of immense value. The patents on the telephone, Xerox process, transistor, laser, and optical fiber all fall into this category.

      But there will be millions of opportunities to make smaller inventions that meet the above requirements. Can you make a desalination a machine that run faster as well as hooking it up to a cold fusion source? No one would buy a Xerox machine that takes 30 seconds to copy each page. Can you make a car air conditioner operating on the basis of cold fusion that is so small that it will fit under the hood of an electric car; or an air conditioner that can be fitted to the belt of a fireman wearing a fire resistant suit? Simply having it run on cold fusion will not be enough. It will have to outperform alternately available energy sources, e.g. batteries. And batteries are getting better every day.

      Cold fusion may have its limitations. For example, it may not produce reasonable quantities of heat at temperatures higher than 100°C. Are there existing applications out there which run on higher temperatures but could be adapted to run on a heat source operating at 100°C? Achieving that adaptation efficiently could generate a valuable patent.

      A bright new world of innovation and patenting lies ahead for everyone who thinks in terms of delivering real value to their fellow human beings.

  4. Ruby Carat

    Excellent overview. Thanks David.

    Just reading your words, I felt the camaraderie myself.

  5. Zedshort

    Very nicely written. I felt as if I was there. This is the best that can be reasonably expected for Mr. French to convey to us and he did the job very well. I found it interesting that the Department of Defense had an observer there. Thank you.

  6. Sophareth Camsonne

    Quite agree with this see-below comment:

    “July 15, 2012 at 4:37 amZedshort / Reply
    Very nicely written. I felt as if I was there. This is the best that can be reasonably expected for Mr. French to convey to us and he did the job very well. I found it interesting that the Department of Defense had an observer there. Thank you.”

    As an academician, I appreciate a lot this sober academic style.
    Thank you, dear David J French

  7. CHIP RANDALL

    Would you please keep the public informed on patent progress of LENR and CANR?
    The most reilable and widly followed is Sterling Allen’s PESWIKI.com . That woud be a great place to get out any new information you might have.

    1. David J. French

      It would be very time-consuming to provide a responsible analysis of pending applications directed to LENR/cold fusion inventions. Many of them are very densely written and some are seriously deficient. It would be a major project to survey all of these applications.

      I can comment on how Examiner’s are addressing Individual applications when they are eventually reviewed for examination. If you have a specific patent application or patent examination processing event that you wish me to address, you are welcome to alert me using the link below and I will see what I can do.

  8. Van den Bogaert Joannes

    To David J. French

    Can you tell me something about the Italian patent of Andrea Rossi relating to the “catalyst”?
    Is the catalyst for the E-Cat an alkali metal such as potassium applied as an hydride decomposing by heat into negatively charged hydrogen ions and positively charged potassium ions.
    Is there a relationship with “Black Light” of Dr. Mills ?

    1. Ivy Matt

      Mr. Rossi’s catalyst is not disclosed in the patent or anywhere else, as far as I am aware.

    2. David J. French

      I have no special knowledge about the arrangement that Mr Andrea Rossi is presenting as a source of heat based upon ColdFusion. His pending US patent application mentions the presence of a “catalyst” mixed-in with the finely divided nickel. However, his application does not describe what this catalyst is. I predict that the US Examiner will reject this application for failure to describe this catalyst.

  9. Daniel de França MTd2

    ” There are many more cubic centimeters of volume in the core of the Sun than there are cubic centimeters of Sun surface area to radiate this energy.”

    Correct:

    ” There are many more cubic centimeters of volume in the core of the Sun than there are *square* centimeters of Sun surface area to radiate this energy.”

    1. David J. French

      I am now back from my travels and am pleased to answer comments.

      I do not think that a “fusion battery” exists, at least not yet. If someone were to say that they are making electricity directly from the fusion or from cold fusion, that would qualify as a “fusion battery”. Such a device, if of a practical size and a reasonable power, would be the ultimate dream achievement. I think it will be the very difficult to achieve in our lifetime. It is much harder to generate electricity than to generate heat.

      Space probes that are sent far from the Sun carry an electrical generator that relies on the heat from a highly radioactive fission source, e.g. plutonium, to generate electricity for the space vehicle through a thermo-electric effect.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioisotope_thermoelectric_generator

      This is the reverse use of the same mechanism that will chill a portable electric cooler using electricity. Both are highly inefficient, e.g. 5% – 7% of the heat becomes electricity or 5% of the electricity contributes to cooling. In space, the extra heat is radiated out into the vacuum.

      Although not technically a “battery”, some might use the expression “fission battery” as a colorful way to describe the device. Doctor George Miley a retired researcher from Illinois has proposed substituting a cold fusion heat source for plutonium. He might describe his device as a “cold fusion battery. But it is not actually a battery.

  10. JoAnn

    Thanks Mr French for the nice presentation about the symposium.
    You have mentioned something I do not know or understand – what is a Fusion Battery ?
    Is something to deliver electricity instead of heat or a bunch of LENR heating devices in a modular structure, in order to deliver more heat?
    Thank you, I tried to look on the web but I am confused – the guy you mentioned talks something about fission, not fusion.
    I might appreciate any answer.
    Thank you

  11. Alain

    Dr Mr French,
    by the way, what is your opinion on US patent laws evolution towar first to file, from first to invent.
    http://newenergyandfuel.com/http:/newenergyandfuel/com/2012/07/24/us-patent-office-starts-regulations-from-new-patent-law/

    is there any impact on subject like LENR reactors.
    imagine that someone simply make a application of well know research like Celani, Piantelli, published in non peer-reviewed papers, like arxiv or LENR blogs …

    will it allow some people to file well known consequence and solution seen in papers.

    do you support or critic the position in that article?

    best regards.

    1. David J. French

      I do not support the views expressed in the article that you have cited. They are wrong in so many respects I will not spend further time commenting directly on what is said.

      Regarding the change to first-inventor-to-file from first-inventor-to-invent, conflicts between inventors who file for the same idea arise in less than 1% of all filings before the US Patent Office. The more significant change is the adoption of the European standard of “absolute world novelty” as a requirement for granting a patent on an idea. Essentially, under the new law, an idea will have to be pristine in its novelty on a world-wide basis. This is true for innovations relating to ColdFusion and LENR equally with any other idea. This new novelty standard will limit patenting in some cases that would otherwise go forward under the present US law, in force since 1836. But only a minority of patent applications will be affected by this change.

      Under the first-to-file system inventors were always expected to keep records of there progress in arriving at their invention in case a conflict might arise. Few private inventors have done that and even employed industrial inventors have been negligent in this regard. But in most cases it does not matter; conflicts based on intervening activities by others do not arise in most cases.

      Under the new law, in most cases, failure to file promptly after you think of your idea will not matter simply because no intervening conflicting activities will present themselves. But in a relatively small number of cases, delay in filing a patent application will result in the loss of patent rights. If others disclose your idea publicly before you file, your application will be ineffective. That is the effect of the new law. Unfortunately, this may happen in respect of valuable innovations. The best practice will be to file early and file often.

      Both the old law and the new law barred the granting of valid patent rights for things that have already been “made available to the public” in some way. That is the killer: if someone else publicly discloses an idea then this will defeat your right to file a patent for that idea even if you invented it independently. The difference between the old law and the new law is whether the public disclosure occurs before you think of the idea yourself, or before you file an application describing your idea, (or publicly disclose your idea in a complete manner – equivalent to filing an application).

      In the ColdFusion/LENR field there will be vast opportunities to file patent applications which address new arrangements, which are unobvious, and which are useful for mankind. Some of these arrangements will address optimizing the production of heat through the ColdFusion/LENR effect. In most instances patents will address details regarding how heat produced by ColdFusion/LENR is exploited.

      So start thinking of such possibilities now!

      1. Alain

        Thanks for the analysis.
        The advice so is to file as soon as you have the idea. By the way, as me and many are naive, what is the minimal filing ?
        Does it need to be a (perfect, complex) patent filing, or what I’ve heard in france as a “sealed letter” roughly proving your idea, allowing you to exploit an idea yet someone else have been granted a patent meanwhile ?
        Does this mean that innovators should pay much more cost for filing, than before ?

        Practically, imagine that I have found a smart way to make a LENR car.
        LENR+Car cannot be patented because it is obvious. (correct me)
        but a tricky way to make the cooling, to save space , could be. ?

        what should I do ?

        just write a quick paper describing my idea, and example schematic, what is the advantage compared to alternative obvious solution, in an engineer language ? and send it to patent office, telling them that in 6month my patent attorney will have rewritten it better ?

        should I write a patent in a cryptic language with “CLAIM 1″ kind of keyword, helped by my patent attorney…

        is there different behavior if my intention is defensive, protecting the right to sell my own invention as-is, or offensive, preventing others to make identical or similar invention and sell them ?

        what if I make someone else patented invention, even better, yet using their ideas ?

        1. David J. French

          You have asked a number of complex but highly relevant questions. It would be appropriate for them to be addressed in a full book. The text “Patent It Yourself” is respected by attorneys:

          http://www.amazon.com/Patent-It-Yourself-David-Pressman/dp/0873375637

          But it is over an inch thick.

          Once you start your first filing you have one year to replace it with a final, corrected, “Non-provisional” document. No one should go through this process without guidance from a registered patent attorney or patent agent. But you can greatly improve the quality of your invention and save a lot of money by doing drafts yourself of your application in a standard layout. Do not skimp on your first filing. Make it as complete as possible. Here is how to start.

          Buy the book, any book that is decent, and read it.

          Go to http://www.USPTO.gov to search other patents. See how they are laid out. Look for something close to your own idea. Learn from the work of others. By filing for patents earlier inventors become mentors and coaches for other inventors who follow.

          Do not start with a minimal filing. It will be deficient. First do a search so you are not wasting time filing for an idea that is already available to the public. Search Google and the US PTO. Identify a difference between what you have done and what others have disclosed; you can only patent that difference. Do not waste time describing anything else.

          Draft a document in final form as far as you understand your invention so far and file it. Cost $150 (approx). This document must describe something that works. You do not need to have any claims. But drafting one claim will help you focus on the difference that you hope to patent.

          After you do your first filing, forward your disclosure to a professional searcher and pay for a professional search. Cost: $600-$1200. Read everything they send back carefully. Refocus on a new difference that is not present in the prior art if your old idea has been disclosed. Revise your patent disclosure document and file it again, a second time. Every time you have a new idea add it to the earlier disclosure and file it again. Three months before the end of the year from your first filing visit a patent attorney to start preparing the final non-provisional application. Be sure to file your final document before the end of the one-year deadline. Once this paper is filed the “story” cannot be changed. Effectively, you are not really needed anymore. The attorneys can do the rest.

          But pay attention to whether the difference you are focused on makes a difference. A perfectly valid patent can have no commercial value if it is focused on an irrelevant detail. Your patent attorney will not make a big effort to draw this to your attention. Stop the process if you see it is going to be useless.

          Answering your further questions, you can always patent an improvement on someone else’s idea. The improvement will have to be new, useful and unobvious. You may have to get permission from the earlier patent owner to use the improvement yourself.

          Under the new law, if you want to defend yourself from someone else patenting your idea just publish your idea so that others can build it or use it. That will defeat the right of others to obtain a patent. That is the principal objective of the new law over the old law.

          1. Alain

            thanks for the clear advices.
            Useful for potential entrepreneur, and simple citizen.

            about that paragraph:
            “Under the new law, if you want to defend yourself from someone else patenting your idea just publish your idea so that others can build it or use it. That will defeat the right of others to obtain a patent. That is the principal objective of the new law over the old law.”

            you answer perfectly my previous remark.

  12. Paul Fernhout

    As something to think about in relation to either secrecy or patents in relation to LENR / cold fusion, I wrote an essay last year that I sent to Andrea Rossi via his journal site. I later put a copy of it on the PES Wiki. Here is a summary of it, as it relates to patents:
    http://peswiki.com/index.php/OS:Economic_Transformation
    “The key point here is that breakthrough clean energy technologies will change the very nature of our economic system. They will shift the balance between four different interwoven economies we have always had (subsistence, gift, planned, and exchange). Inventors who have struggled so hard in a system currently dominated by exchange may have to think about the socioecenomic implications of their invention in causing a permanent economic phase change. A clean energy breakthrough will probably create a different balance of those four economies like toward greater local subsistence and more gift giving (as James P. Hogan talks about in Voyage From Yesteryear). So, to focus on making money in the old socioeconomic paradigm (like by focusing on restrictive patents) may be very ironic, compared to freely sharing a great gift with the world that may change the overall dynamics of our economy to the point where money does not matter very much anymore.”

    1. Alain

      The big paradigm changes that I see are multiple.
      LENR will change paradigm from cost of fuel to cost of reactor/turbines. This mean that installed power, and not total consumption will be the factor to optimized. This mean that efficiency and saving energy will be less important, and that reducing the cost of building will be the key factor.
      Another paradigm change, like when you change from fuel to fission on boat, is that if the installed power is heavy and not cheap, the fuel is ultra-light and costless. This mean that huge autonomy is free in money and weight. this will change the engineering optimization strategy.

      the impact on economy will be huge. the 10% GDP of energy consumption will became a 20% investment cost to do in a few years. moreover it wil same much more that the energy produced today, but will save money, work, energy, and materials used to save energy, what some call the “negawatt”. those negawatt are not fre. take the double glass window in my howm, which is an investment of the price of an hyperion, just to save few 10% of fuel consumption, and that I will pay in 10-20 years at best.

      also since cash flow will move from resource , that are often far from home, to industry, local at the beginning (because too much work to do in a few year, too profitable to wait)

      another paradigm change is pollution, since it does not pollute. It will finish the guiltiness complex that some try to establish in our society. The real guilt will be on work condition you impose to workers. It will be a big social jump, maybe making a new “welfare” revolution, even in USA and China, like in the 60s.

      another paradigm change with LENR is about transport and sizing.
      LENR is so cheap and controllable that you don’t need ling transportation lines, and ther is no technical constraint on the sizing of the reactor from kitchen size to GW. the optimization will be done on price, and if some oligopoly want to abuse their position, smaller reactor will became popular.
      The grid and the big power plan will only survive, because they are efficient technically, if the big power don’t abuse. otherwise it will be local energy, less cheap, but cheap.

      the cost of energy will jump also from consumption, to installed power, but finally to grid access, with energy nearly free. It look like Internet access. you pay to connect to the grid, because the energy is much less expensive than the services beside like reliability, maintenance, freedom…

      what you call the economy of gift, can be done in a market system, but with a simple access cost like on internet. all the rest being included.

  13. JoAnn

    Dear Mr. French,
    I searched more on the web, and I have learned that the Fusion Battery may be possible in our life span if we will believe Dr. Popa-Simil statements.
    He appears on web with a book about the fusion battery published on kindle, very hard to decipher, too many deep concepts on nature and physics, who wants to find it, is at:
    http://www.amazon.com/BATTERY-Potential-Outcomes-Applications-ebook/dp/B008G4MHP8/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1344484715&sr=1-5
    and a book on nano technologies in nuclear power:
    http://www.amazon.com/Applied-Nano-technologies-Improves-Performances-ebook/dp/B007BWGSV0/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1344484715&sr=1-4
    and some other books on inventions stimulation, climate change and transportation.
    I have also found an interesting article about him in New Scientist:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13545-nanomaterial-turns-radiation-directly-into-electricity.html
    where he said:
    Popa-Simil agrees, saying it will be at least a decade before final designs of the radiation-to-electricity concept are built.
    That was after a paper on the new nuclear power materials was presented on 25 March, at the Materials Research Society Spring Meeting 2008 , San Francisco, California, US.
    Some other papers are available on web and several patent applications.

    He addressed Blue Ribbon Commission with a proposal that US to take seriously this research, but it seems that until in US will not be a shake-up there will be no “wake-up”, the national labs will sleep happily in their arrogance and mediocrity.
    Do you have more information on this?
    May I believe what Dr. Popa is writing, or I have to apply caution, as seems to be a foreigner with hard to pronounce name?
    May be he comes from a area where was no physics research, and just imagination, because we know so little about East Europe researches, even about China, and we better suppose that there is nothing real. Am I right?

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