Lasted edited by Andrew Munsey, updated on June 14, 2016 at 9:42 pm.
Discussion page for Legal:To Patent or Not to Patent a Free Energy Technology
On Oct. 3, 2007, Directory:David L. Wenbert wrote:
There needs to be a lot more discussion on this issue of patenting.
I have watched friends spend the better part of the last 20 years
feverously engaged in a rush to file more and more patents, and in
litigation over patent rights with various parties - more with
investors than with licensees.
There is no better way to distract inventors and dissipate their
energies and resources than the patent chase its just the wrong game
to play. Patent applications are like publishing papers as academic
journal articles, they have nothing to do with manufacturing and
selling product. Many inventors would rather be right than rich, and
will expend their lives in either or both of those completely
FE/OU is far too important to go down those rat holes. The world
needs the technology NOW.
Always remember that "product-on-shelves" beats patents every time.
Avoid the patent chase its a snare and a delusion. Today, the pace
of innovation is such that in the two years (or more) that it
takes to file a patent and get it issued, the invention will already
be obsolete. The best thing a FE/OU product could have in the
marketplace is immediate COMPETITION, as it would add credibility and
make it harder to discredit the product as some kind of freakish
anomaly. I know many inventors with lots of patents and no money, and
many people with a lot of money, and no patents. THERE IS NO OVERLAP.
Take the hundreds of thousands of dollars you might otherwise spend
pursuing U.S. and foreign patents, and divert it into manufacturing
and marketing instead. Products don't get copied lightly, it costs
too much to crank up a cheap knockoff that nobody will do it until and
unless you've already established your market. By then, you'll be on
to v. 2.0, and any clones that appear will only expand the total
market you're in.
On Oct. 8, 2007, NEC member, Congress:Member:Stephen Kaplan wrote:
The following update from my effort to get the House Science Committee to investigate the
Patent Office's policies re alternative energy is relevant to your discussions re patents.
To sum up, Doug Pasternak, an investigator for the committee, asked the Patent Office
for an explanation of the SAWS memo. Two agency reps came to his office and discussed
the memo, and they convinced him that it was just a conservative review process and
not meant to block progress. However, there remains the whole question of the Patent
Office's refusal to issue cold fusion patent applications. Doug was not willing to go there,
as he felt he didn't have either the expertise or the time to do so. He was not even
willing to ask the Patent Office to tell the committee which patent applications were
finally refused after going through the SAWS process.
All of this has led me to conclude we're not likely to get any real review of Patent Office
practices, unless a major campaign was launched to force the issue. This means the
Patent Office will continue to refuse to isssue cold fusion patents, even though this research
has been validated over and over again, even in U.S.military laboratories. It seems it doesn't
matter to the Patent Office that cold fusion scientists are doing excellent peer-reviewed
work all over the world. Interestingly enough, cold fusion scientists in Russia are also
facing obstacles from mainstream scientists there.
I believe we need to encourage open source projects wherever and whenever we can, to
bring about the breakthroughs we are all seeking. This is why NEM is focusing on seeking
funding for these types of projects in our contacts with philanthropists and investors.
I am very skeptical of using patents (even though I have one applied for now). Most lawyers are parasite, patent lawyers being no exception. The process of getting a patent is very expensive and very time consuming. It should also be noted that anyone can challenge a patent for a variety of reasons. Big companies with deep pockets can keep this going quite a while.
The other unexpected way to hemorrhage money with patents is the big boys can just use your idea anyhow and it can take you years and potentially millions to get justice through the legal system (which mostly serves to enrich its self).
Now with free energy claims, there has been a syndrome of some scammers like Newman to distract from the lack of real proof of a claim with a big made up drawn out expensive patent fight - which of course he lost. Hundreds of people used to patent unworkable over balanced wheels. (many manic FE inventors totally skip the proof stage and rush right to the patent stage). The patent office got sick of all those applications and has insisted that any PM patent be accompanied by a working model.
Lastly, a patent doesn't mean something works, it just means that you are the first (in the opinion of the overworked underpaid [USPTO] bureaucrats) to apply for a patent for it. Then of course, anyone later can come along and claim it was prior art or covered by some other patent.
It's sad that there are so many parasites like patent lawyers and other stumbling blocks that prey on the very inventors that potential can make the world a better place.
I am favorable to open sourcing, but there is a serious snag. Contributions to the author/inventor are either voluntary or they involve the inventor getting involved in selling (either plans or the gadget itself) and entering the market in competition with others who are probably better at it than he is.
In 1989, I did write an article on patents and considered the question. My proposal at the time, and perhaps still a valid one today, would be to cobble together an association of inventors which can act in a similar way as the societies that collect royalties for music performance which they turn over (actually only a small part) to the authors.
Why not have a similar association that works in the interest of inventors who open source their technology, collecting the contributions, either voluntary or legally mandated, which they then turn over to the inventors, in proportion to how their work sells.
Such a scheme may need further thought and refinement, but it would introduce an important element - compensation for the inventor who meanwhile is free to pursue other innovations, instead of having to get immersed in commercial matters.
The article I wrote at the time is here: The Inventor and Society
On Oct. 4, 2007, NEC member, Congress:Member:Leslie R. Pastor wrote:
By patenting an invention..........one exposes their property, invention, novelty of fact, into the marketplace of ideas, concepts, and ultimately revelation. I suspect therefore that a wise inventor would hold something back from the public viewpoint, and thus protect their invention from modification, alteration, and ultimate theft. In looking at some of the patents provided by Nikola Tesla, I recognize such restraint. Also during the early period of invention, nomenclature is probably a hinderance rather than an asset.
At the turn of the twentieth (20th) century most inventions were 'novelty of fact'.........and thus describing such inventions would have been difficult...from the standpoint of presentation. A nomenclature developed around the invention and 'novelty of fact' became acceptable upon usage and absorption into the mainstream marketplace of the public, as with most products that we accept and take for granted.
Most of what we take for granted was theorized from the fertile minds of Michael Faraday ( a bookbinders apprentice......who became a chemist, and studied directly under Sir Humphry Davies, until he developed his own magnificent ideas), James Clerk Maxwell, a wealthy Scotsman, who went to Faraday's lectures, listened to him, ultimately understond him, and then 'codified' Faraday into the universal language of mathematics.
James Clerk Maxwell, (who taught John Ambrose Fleming, enabling Fleming to receive his Ph.D.), provided the world with its first partial 'unified field theory.' (not the four (4) vector equations that we are led to believe.......but the the twenty equations, and twenty unknowns that he originally theorized). http://www.rense.com/general75/simpl.htm
Nikola Tesla studied both Faraday and Maxwell, and then developed his own ideas........ultimately discovering the 'rotating magnetic field,' along with the application of his forty (40) patents on alternating current developed the spark of the American Industrial Revolution and the early stages of the American Empire. He did this from and with the beneficence of wealthy benefactors.
The problem, however, is that an 'evil entourage' developed, that decided, that all such invention must be 'controlled,' 'curtailed,' and 'contained,' thus stiffling and ultimately stopping all new 'novelty of fact' inventions thereafter. Thus most significant inventions are either hidden under 'corporate' domain influence, special opps projects, or are privately held by the actual inventors who recognize the importance of remaining silent regarding their 'novelty of fact.' We already have substantial and sufficient history that demonstrates this fact.
I'm currently writing a book regarding this difficult topic called Site:LRP:The Control Paradigm, which essentially outlines the control aspects and thus the pitfalls that liter the pathway of the inventor. I am personally aware of such a pitfall, and I'm aware of the ramification and the dilemma that faces us all, because of it. When I am personally enabled and released from my own imposed agreement not to reveal the essential facts regarding, an important Tesla invention......I hope to provide very good news in the future.
Until then we are facing a dilemma unparalleled in human history, thus far, the meltdown of the US Dollar, the end of the American influence as a nation, and the end of the individual as we have known, during this past century. The Control Paradigm is being demonstrated in full force.
There was an error working with the wiki: Code
On Oct. 2, 2007,
There was an error working with the wiki: Code, wrote:
We all know the stories of PowerPedia:Nikola Tesla (AM Radio), Edwin Armstrong (FM Radio), and Philo Fransworth (TV), who got their ideas stolen from them, due to a lack of strong patent protection.
On Oct. 2, 2007,
There was an error working with the wiki: Code wrote:
It's because Tesla had a 'priority of art' patent on the four (4) tunes circuits regarding radio........that the Army Signal Corp was able to refute Marconi's claim of patent infringement. Tesla had died six (6) month earlier in 1943. Marconi, being independently wealthy, merely used several of Tesla's patents to promote 'radio' as his own. Several inventors had been involved with the discovery of radio.........but Tesla had discovered the reception and transmission of radio signals long before anyone understood them. Tesla designed the four (4) tuned circuits necessary for the reception and transmission of radio signals. He alone had the 'priority of art.' Tesla's genius was demonstrated by his 'discovery' of how the 'construct of the creation' functioned. We are the beneficiaries of discoveries yet to be reborn and reactivated.......and hopefully very soon.
On Oct. 3, 2007, NEC member, Andrew Michrowski of the Planetary Association for Clean Energy (PACE), wrote:
It should be brought to attention that there is a pre-hearing interview with Nikola Tesla by his legal counsel in 1916 that was precipitated by numerous pending court cases as the emerging radio industry entered a period of fierce competition, compiled by Leland Anderson PEng in 2002, as: 'Nikola Tesla on his work with alternating currents and their application to wireless telegraphy, telephony and transmission of power'. As the title suggests, this deposition - of several days' duration - also describes in great detail how to transmit electricity without wires (and almost without loss) for long distances.
Another analysis was done by John Stone (who had several radio patents himself - also used by the US government in their 1943 Supreme Court Case) in 1915 'Signals through space - from the beginnings' who noted that Nikola Tesla approached the subject of wireless telegraphy from a standpoint of his own high frequency current experiments and their ability - even without Hertzian waves - to transfer large amounts of energy in open circuits and potential waves in the earth. Marconi and Righi viewed their emission purely in terms of electric radiation and that his transmitter was a radiator of electromagnetic waves. Note that the US Supreme Court shows that the Tesla patent, above all others, presents the original concept and apparatus for the basic system of radio transmission/reception.
Regarding the Fessenden was viewed as, an indication "of what has heretofore been accomplished by others in the art of wireless telegraphy ... on a small scale what Tesla proposed to do on a large scale, namely to transmit sufficient power to produce mechanical effects as distinguished from obscure magnetic molecular or electrochemical effects heretofore produced in a coherer. By some method of electrical power transmission, this applicant [Fessenden] claims to have been able to produce physical body movement of mechanical parts, as for instance, deflection of the galvanometer shown in the companion application, whereas no one before him, except Tesla, has been able to transmit over considerable distances sufficient power to accomplish anything more that actuation of coherer relay."
Note that Tesla was impoverished, living for decades without even paying rent! One cannot speak of him as having mustered enough to pay for legal costs..
PS: We have the documentation in question ..
On Oct. 4, 2007, NEC mamber, Congress:Member:Michael Riversong wrote:
Farnsworth had plenty of patent protection. His problem was that he couldn't afford enough lawyers to fight the (insert favorite expletive here) RCA lawyers. Sarnoff basically wanted Farnsworth to cave in on unfavorable terms. His challenges carried no merit, and everyone knew that. But he had more lawyers in his stable, and thus was able to delay the introduction of TV by at least 20 years. Which might not have been a bad thing, considering.
On Oct. 4, 2007, T Lee Buyea wrote:
Working models are not required to get a patent on all inventions Except
free energy, over unity, perpetual motion devices which Do require a
working model to get a patent.
That is why most claimed free energy devices that do have a patent,
Never mention in the patent description that it is free energy. Like
Bearden's non working MEG.
I think the patent offices reason for this is to stop free energy con
men from pointing to their patent to con investors.
I have a friend who is a patent examiner in the permanent and electro
magnet area of the patent office and he is sure free energy is not
possible, I would very much like to prove him wrong.
On Oct. 4, 2007, NEC member, Congress:Member:Noah Seidman wrote:
There are two scenarios that I observe. In a market that has a lot of
manufacturers, and competition, patents are important to gain leverage
over the other companies. On the other hand a market that has zero
competition, and practically no products on the market, can benefit from
no patent protection considering that competition fosters credibility,
and no patent protection fosters competition!
On Oct. 4, 2007, Stefano Fazzino of Italy wrote:
I'm very interested in all that concerns "free" energy. Really I mean
"free" as clean and alternative because nothing is free in the universe.
At present I'm working on a project to build a free energy prototype. [...]
Anyway my e-mail is not for speaking of my project but regards your
article about the patents. Legal:To Patent or Not to Patent a Free Energy Technology I like Open Source
much more than Patents and I'd like that an energy free working device
(if there will be one eventually) could be presented under Open Source
policy that satisfies also these points:
# anybody can build freely the device for his own use, but not for commercial use. People can find plans, suggestions, documentation materials and parts by Internet
# companies can produce for their own use or commercial purpose but have to pay fees and royalties (license cost could depend on revenue and royalties on KW produced)
# universities and scientific research centers have to pay royalties to use the device
# non-profit organizations involved in humanitarian causes towards people, animals and environment can acquire the device at political prices or request it for free to use for their own purposes but they can not resell
# all improvements discovered from anyone cannot be patented. (This point I'm a bit skeptic)
With the gain and donations one non-profit worldwide organization could be created.
It should aim to:
# promote the free energy into the world specially to poor people and countries
# produce the devices and sell them
# research and study clean and free energy in all directions
# research and study other technologies also in different scientific sectors
# donate money to deserving non-profit organizations.
I'd like to know your opinion and whether is possible to do it, legally and worldwide (like a kind of modified GPL used in software sector).
On Oct. 8, 2007, NEC member, Hugh Campbell wrote:
I have held the believe for quite a while that Free Energy needs to move out into the public forum quickly and unencumbered. We all know of examples of various devices that have either not been granted patents or suffered from other forms of interference or subterfuge intentionally impeding the introduction and implementation of a working device. The profit at any cost crowd has lead us down the road paved with gold while the planet suffers from an energy and environmental melt down! As one of Joel's slides mentioned there is a large and eager amount of energy and talent out there that would love to focus on the ultimate Planetary challenge of changing energy horses in mid-stream. The real challenge is to change the destructive path we are on without totally unraveling the positives attributes of our civilization. The only way this will be accomplished is to change the current Monopolistic Control Paradigm and place this greatest of all gifts into the Public Trust as an open-sourced resource for the benefit of all mankind. This challenge will take the best, the brightest, and most humble of all of us to save this planet and the fact is that we are running out of time! This is "our" opportunity to take the lead and show the world how to set global priorities that ensure future baseline energy needs of humanity are met in a way that promotes environmental balance.
On Feb. 27, 2009, Arend Lammertink (lamare at gmail dot com) wrote:
Open Source philosophy and greediness are incompatible. My personal opinion is that mankind's inventions should be available for all to use. However, the way the world operates to date is that greedy corporations will do everything they can to rip of other peoples inventions. I don't know if my research will lead to any inventions, but if it does, I will apply for a patent, which is pretty cheap here in the Netherlands, also for foreigners. Less then 1000 Euro's if you write it yourself and want an international investigation type wether or not your invention is new (Dutch national search: something like 275 EUR).
And: if you apply for a Dutch patent, you will get your patent, no matter what, and you have at least one year to decide wether or not you want to go for European or Worldwide patenting trough wipo, etc. Yes, that's right!, any patent application is granted in The Netherlands, including free energy patents of course. So, if you're afraid your patent won't get granted in the US or elsewhere: perhaps a Dutch patent is a good place to start with. There's only one major "but": your claims will have to be translated to Dutch (while your application can be in English).
Another interesting thing about the Dutch patent system is that you can freely publish anything you like about your invention starting from the day the Dutch patent office recieves your application. So, the day after you receive your receipt from the postman that your application has been received by the patent office, you can freely open source your invention and still be able to patent it worldwide up to a year later.
So, suppose I will invent something I want to give to the people of this world, but I also want to keep the powers that be from exploiting the knowledge that should be exploited by small private companies IMHO. What would I do?
Well, I would patent my invention and give away a free license, like to all companies with max 3 natural persons as owners to use/sell/produce like 5.000 "units" a year. Then, a worldwide community of small, independent companies could use it for free, while the big industries would be forced to buy a license. I could also found a non-profit organisation that collects royalties from these big spenders, and spend it on additional research, for example.
However, the question is: is it necessary to patent your ideas in order to be able to protect them from greedy companies?
I mean, there are other protection mechanisms that can be used, like for example copyright. I know of a case of copyright that a producer of parfume was prohibited from selling his products, because he "copied" his parfume from someone else. Like 50 out of 55 "components" in his product were "copied" from another product, so it was ruled as "copyright infringement".
That's interesting, since if copying "odered water" can infringe on someones copyright, why couldn't copying someones electrical or mechanical design?? So, IMHO, there are at least possibilities to get by without patenting, especially in combination with a smart licensing scheme.
Internationally, the rules for all kinds of "protections" are bound by the TRIPs agreement: http://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/27-trips_04_e.htm
Now let's think about this. If you "open source" or "publish" an "expression", which can by anything you put to paper, your work is copyrighted until at least 50 years after your death. That means nobody can "copy" your paper without your permission, except for "fair use" purposes.
That might open a legal window of opportunity, because if someone wants to build something according to your design, your protected "expression", he will somehow have to take a look at either your design or a machine built according to your design.
Now of course, there is the so-called "clean-room" implementation technique pioneered by Compag (IIRC) to reverse-engineer IBM's BIOS, but couldn't it be possible to attach a smart license to your open-source design?
Let's call it License X for now, which is to be used to publish "open source" inventions.
In license X , we could say that all machines or derivative works built to this design/invention, must be licensed under license X also and license X must be included (or agreed to by the customer before buying) with all machines sold to the public as a so-called "shrink-wrapped" contract:
"Shrink wrap contracts are license agreements or other terms and conditions of a (putatively) contractual nature which can only be read and accepted by the consumer after opening the product."
In such a contract, you can put all kinds of terms and conditions, like for example the condition that if you agree to the contract for one product, you also agree to some general terms in the license. For example: buy product 1, agree to the license, and therefore agree that any designs/products you might produce that are based on any work protected under License X will be licensed under License X also. That would make a nice recursive license, binding each company to its terms and conditions that can be caught using just one product licensed under license X.
Now that would be interesting, since that would mean we could construct a "General Public Patent License" (/contract) that can protect any publicly disclosed invention from being ripped of by greedy companies and lawyers for free!
To make a long story short: we need a smart licensing scheme!!
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