Some 25 enthusiastic participants signed up for David Nagel’s Basic Course, scheduled to run from 8 AM to 4:30 PM on Sunday, July 21, Registration Day for ICCF-18.

David Nagel arranged for presentations to be made by: Michael Melich; Mahadeva Srinivasan; Vittorio Violante; Michael McKubre; Peter Hagelstein ; David Nagel himself, and myself, David French. Also in the room as interested participating observers were Ed Storms and Dr. Celani from Italy. The sessions were intended to conclude at 4:30 PM but ran on to 6:30 PM partly because of the enthusiastic participation of the audience in asking questions.

This basic course, led by individuals with lots of gray hair, provided an intense but informative presentation of the fundamentals of the LENR phenomenon from its roots in 1989. It provided a great grounding for those not familiar with basic principles and a very useful refresher for those who think they’ve heard it all before.

David Nagel in his opening remarks made it clear that active Cold Fusion debunkers still exist. These are generally persons who ignore the data. He expressed a wish that he could present such individuals with a definitive collection of all of the excess heat reports that have been generated over the last 20 years. Somewhere out there, somebody has probably prepared or, hopefully, is preparing such a document.

Mike Melich shared his 2009-2010 personal experiences with Andrea Rossi that led to the rebirth, under Rossi’s initiatives, of the hydrogen gas-nickel system for generating heat energy. Discovered in the early 1990s, this gas phase type of experiment went into partial eclipse. Following Rossi’s famous public demonstration in January, 2011, this technology is now in the forefront of the field. Defkalion is planning to make two demonstration experiments based on hydrogen-nickel at ICCF-18 using the Internet. A most interesting observation by Mike Melich was that Rossi in 2009 was demonstrating Cold Fusion experiments based on hydrogen-nickel to generate heat almost as a whimsy. Since then, however, Rossi has clearly become market oriented.

Dr Srinivasan emphasized the developing importance of transmutation as an alternate phenomenon to nuclear fusion in the field. The evidence is there for some degree of transmutation, but not at profound levels or rates. It’s still unclear whether this is arising from neutron or proton capture. But recent experiments such as those of Dr Iwamera based upon deuterium permeation of metallic foils definitely shows a decline in the presence of carbon and sulfur at the same time as a rise in the level of content of manganese and silicon. Theoretical equations have been proposed to support these transmutations. Even the manganese appears to have a theoretical pathway for conversion to silicon. Accordingly, the LENR phenomenon may actually be a multiple or combination of phenomena: fusion and transmutation.

The remaining speakers provided their wisdom in their respective fields and I had the fortunate/unfortunate opportunity to be the second last speaker before David Nagel was to provide his concluding remarks. I spoke on patenting Cold Fusion inventions before the US Patent Office. Unfortunately, the audience had many many questions about patenting in general. I got drawn-in to the seductive experience of answering questions until I realized how quickly time was flying. I even had to plead with some of the speakers to stop asking their questions, and even then some persisted. In the end, David Nagel to his great credit, gave up his time to make concluding remarks in order to allow my presentation on the theme of patenting to reach its conclusion. My message was simple: think of something useful, describe how others can make it happen and stipulate a feature that is new. Not complicated when summarized in a few words, but pregnant with meaning and concepts that are hard to absorb.

I tried hard to stay away from my favorite theme, “patenting sensibly”, and focus on meeting US PTO requirements to patent Cold Fusion. I circulated an email received from the US Patent Office confirming that they will issue patents for Cold Fusion inventions if they meet the requirements of four sections in the Patent At. These are the sections that deal with the usefulness, novelty, inventive step, and the obligation of an applicant to provide a description that will enable others to reproduce the invention.

The point of my presentation was: you can get a patent for something in the field of Cold Fusion, even at the US Patent Office. I provided one example of a success, and one example of a failure.

Tomorrow the Conference begins in serious. You can tell it’s going to be serious because opening remarks are scheduled for 7:45 AM with two keynote speakers following directly thereafter.

Until the next time.

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: