Polywell's current patent application.

Point out news stories, on the net or in mainstream media, related to polywell fusion.

Moderators: tonybarry, MSimon

BenTC
Posts: 410
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:54 am

Post by BenTC »

You're right, that was a bit generic. To put them in context I'll have to stretch my speculation...

Indenture of Employees - If the Polywell works, Rick will be making plenty of money if he is a free agent to consult - though I imagine he is too busy to be planning it like that.
Contradiction between Patents and Public Research - The project has become more visible at the higher levels of govenment. Someone high up thinks a strategic view of national security is for the world to be energy secure, and the best way to speed this up uptake is to avoid putting up barriers.
Loss of Liberty to Customers - They are respecting Bussard's supposed ideals on wide distribution of the technology. End-user customisation will lead to more design variations and research.
Delays in Publication - Rick benefits in his academic profession from not having others beat him to the punch.
Technical Lock-in and Research Avoidance - I don't think they've got this under consideration. Its only a general comment.

Actually, I think perhaps they are just too busy to respond to the rejection of the patent. Or, their understanding has moved such that the original patent is not quite right.

scareduck
Posts: 552
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 5:03 am

Post by scareduck »

MSimon wrote:[Dude. The key patent has expired. They are not called temporary monopolies for nothing.
It was a patent application. You can drag those things out forever. Patent trolls do exactly that.

chrismb
Posts: 3161
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 6:00 pm

Post by chrismb »

scareduck wrote:
MSimon wrote:[Dude. The key patent has expired. They are not called temporary monopolies for nothing.
It was a patent application. You can drag those things out forever. Patent trolls do exactly that.
...and if you don't drag it out, the USPTO does! :)

That's right, it could've been held in limbo, or just finalised. Someone's actively lost interest at the very final hurdle.

scareduck
Posts: 552
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 5:03 am

Post by scareduck »

Incidentally, chrismb, where specifically (URL and instructions because the USPTO website seems to have a lot of POST forms) were you looking when you made this discovery?

chrismb
Posts: 3161
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 6:00 pm

Post by chrismb »

uspto.gov

It's all there, just work through the links...

TallDave
Posts: 3114
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 7:12 pm
Contact:

Post by TallDave »

Remember guys, the WB-8 contract explicitly asks for a WB-9 design.

The vagaries of patent law being what they are, this doesn't seem worth worrying a lot about. It might just be that Bussard's death invalidates the petition, or someone at EMC2 forgot to keep it going, they don't care, they're going to patent the WB-9 design instead, or who knows what.

It's silly to think they are abandoning Polywell in the middle of the WB-8 contract based on this.

Aero
Posts: 1200
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 4:36 am
Location: 92111

Post by Aero »

Or it might be that they have learned enough new stuff to realize that the patent as applied for does not protect the important stuff well enough to be worth pursuing.
Aero

scareduck
Posts: 552
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 5:03 am

Post by scareduck »

chrismb wrote:uspto.gov

It's all there, just work through the links...
Not. Helpful. Please give more details.

scareduck
Posts: 552
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 5:03 am

Post by scareduck »

Aero wrote:Or it might be that they have learned enough new stuff to realize that the patent as applied for does not protect the important stuff well enough to be worth pursuing.
Then they could modify the application! But to abandon it?

KitemanSA
Posts: 6114
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 3:05 pm
Location: OlyPen WA

Post by KitemanSA »

chrismb wrote:...these have the effect of making it non-viable to progress a design if it is not protected.
This is only true if it is the ITEM that is to be marketed, not the product of the item. In this case, the product (electricity) is so widely and earnestly desired that if Polywell works, the power companies will either independantly or in consortium, design and build these items. Lack of patent protection would probably be a GOOD thing in that case.

The promise of patent protection is supposed to be an INDUCEMENT TO DEVELOP. In this case, the Navy is providing that service.

scareduck
Posts: 552
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 5:03 am

Post by scareduck »

scareduck wrote:Not. Helpful. Please give more details.
Actually, never mind. I figured it out.

Giorgio
Posts: 2731
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:15 pm
Location: China, Italy

Post by Giorgio »

MirariNefas wrote: In short, it protects them from being scooped, and doesn't help anybody else to use their work, while not legally prohibiting anyone else from using or selling their design (if anybody else can figure out that design on their own).

Industries do this to establish a "trade secret".


Is this also what the military does when they don't want their secret designs to be disclosed to the public?
Interesting point, I was not thinking of it in that way. Yet (as we are speaking of the US government) I think it would have been more easy to simply secret the whole project under one of the various "national interest" laws they do normally use.

TheRadicalModerate
Posts: 145
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 4:19 pm
Location: Austin, TX
Contact:

Post by TheRadicalModerate »

scareduck wrote:
Aero wrote:Or it might be that they have learned enough new stuff to realize that the patent as applied for does not protect the important stuff well enough to be worth pursuing.
Then they could modify the application! But to abandon it?
There are limits on what you can modify without getting into restriction problems. In general, you can only patent one basic idea per application (although you can have multiple independent claims that relate to various aspects of the idea).

The general strategy that most companies use is to file a broad claim early on to establish a date for the invention. However, that starts the clock running for when the patent expires (not the date of allowance--go figure). So what you do is you then dribble out a set of continuation claims that can effectively reset the clock and give you a longer period of exclusivity after allowance.

I agree that a full abandonment looks bad, unless they discovered that the IP in the original wasn't really the secret sauce, and that a continuation claim wasn't possible due to restriction requirements. Maybe the Navy made funding contingent upon abandoning the IP? That sounds really weird.

I wonder if there are other unpublished patents lurking in USPTO that we don't know about. I've never understood the publication rules on applications, but they can remain secret (or at least unsearchable) for a while in some cases.

(BTW, Scareduck, I didn't realize that that was you over on Reason until after I'd re-posted--I obviously found your sourcing info!)

jabowery
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:52 am

Nuclear exceptions

Post by jabowery »

It is my understanding that certain nuclear processes are not patentable under US law. This stems from the early days of the national laboratories and national security concerns. Does anyone have details on/confirmation of this?

MSimon
Posts: 14331
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Contact:

Post by MSimon »

scareduck wrote:
MSimon wrote:[Dude. The key patent has expired. They are not called temporary monopolies for nothing.
It was a patent application. You can drag those things out forever. Patent trolls do exactly that.
I'm referring to the 1987 (I think) patent.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

Post Reply