Polywell's current patent application.

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

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scareduck
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Post by scareduck »

MSimon wrote:It doesn't need venture funding. It has the US Navy. If it works the Navy will send out a quarter ton of specification and GE and Westinghouse and a consortium of subcontractors will bid on it. The Navy will pay for a five to twenty unit a year production line and the winner(s) of the bid will start selling units to private industry.
Wow, so Nebel or whoever wants to pass up an opportunity to get wealthy as Croesus? I don't get this. If Polywell is for real, controlling the key design patents is vital. More: let's say GE and Westinghouse do get involved. Won't they want to keep competitors out? Again, we run into patents.

This smells bad. Really bad.

MirariNefas
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Post by MirariNefas »

The bid may include rights to a percentage share of wealth gained for the originating party. So the Navy may keep some funds, and if the contract is written for it, Nebel and co. may get a share as well.

At least, that's how it works in acadamia, the sector of the public I'm in. I assume the Navy has similar bargaining capabilities, and is capable of taking out its own patents.

scareduck
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Post by scareduck »

MirariNefas wrote:The bid may include rights to a percentage share of wealth gained for the originating party. So the Navy may keep some funds, and if the contract is written for it, Nebel and co. may get a share as well.

At least, that's how it works in acadamia, the sector of the public I'm in. I assume the Navy has similar bargaining capabilities, and is capable of taking out its own patents.
Well, then, why haven't they?

We've heard nothing from Rick since June (IIRC). I don't wonder if this isn't why.

KitemanSA
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Post by KitemanSA »

scareduck wrote: We've heard nothing from Rick since June (IIRC). I don't wonder if this isn't why.
I suspect he is just a tad busy right now.

There is one other reason why the patent application was not pursued. It may be that the owner of the company desided to put it into the public domain as Dr. B appeared to want toward the end. Rumor has it he was offered a lot of VC money but the strings were too tight. He seemed to want to make sure that the whole world could benefit, not just a few business men.

I may be misreading the situation.

IntLibber
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Post by IntLibber »

KitemanSA wrote:
scareduck wrote: We've heard nothing from Rick since June (IIRC). I don't wonder if this isn't why.
I suspect he is just a tad busy right now.

There is one other reason why the patent application was not pursued. It may be that the owner of the company desided to put it into the public domain as Dr. B appeared to want toward the end. Rumor has it he was offered a lot of VC money but the strings were too tight. He seemed to want to make sure that the whole world could benefit, not just a few business men.

I may be misreading the situation.
I hope you are, this sort of thinking is more likely to guarantee it will never go anywhere. Please show me a public domain invention that ever went anywhere (nuclear fission was patented by the government, Richard Feynman had the job of thinking up all the uses for it when they were putting the patent app together).

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

scareduck wrote:
MSimon wrote:It doesn't need venture funding. It has the US Navy. If it works the Navy will send out a quarter ton of specification and GE and Westinghouse and a consortium of subcontractors will bid on it. The Navy will pay for a five to twenty unit a year production line and the winner(s) of the bid will start selling units to private industry.
Wow, so Nebel or whoever wants to pass up an opportunity to get wealthy as Croesus? I don't get this. If Polywell is for real, controlling the key design patents is vital. More: let's say GE and Westinghouse do get involved. Won't they want to keep competitors out? Again, we run into patents.

This smells bad. Really bad.
Dude. The key patent has expired. They are not called temporary monopolies for nothing.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

Please show me a public domain invention that ever went anywhere
Three phase electrical power systems - once the patents ran out.

You wouldn't believe the electrical system mess that obtained until the patents ran out.

Same for Watt and the steam engine patents.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

IntLibber
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Post by IntLibber »

MSimon wrote:
Please show me a public domain invention that ever went anywhere
Three phase electrical power systems - once the patents ran out.

You wouldn't believe the electrical system mess that obtained until the patents ran out.

Same for Watt and the steam engine patents.
I'm quite aware of how Tesla and Westinghouse faced off against Edison. The mess wasnt from the patents, it was from Edison refusing to bow to the inevitable and using his power to lie and manipulate and slander his competition.

Fulton boldly stole Morey's work.

chrismb
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Post by chrismb »

The main issues are being missed;

a) there was a patent, and it merely needed a little bit of administration as it had cleared all the main hurdles and was 'active'. It just needed to be followed through, and it wasn't.
b) Whilst bad-mouthing tokamaks, Bussard was still writing patents for the things.

However,
a) in patent-land, what happens is that you file a provisional patent and it languishes unseen for a year before you can progress it. It might mean that something new is in the pipeline. Equally, if you're still working on something, you've got a balancing act to decide whether it's too early to file and the idea needs [more than] a year's work before filing a search-able patent. Who knows? [rnebel I guess] Maybe it links in with the know-in-two-years. I think not, but the conculsion isn't to be drawn so strongly just yet.
b) This bit tickles me. It's like finding out that the cute children's TV presenter your kids watch at bed time actually moonlights as a prostitute and porn star. Some might consider that a betrayal of trust, whereas others might suddenly find there is a new and interesting added dimension to watching the TV with the kids.

KitemanSA
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Post by KitemanSA »

MSimon wrote:
Please show me a public domain invention that ever went anywhere
Three phase electrical power systems - once the patents ran out.
You wouldn't believe the electrical system mess that obtained until the patents ran out.
Same for Watt and the steam engine patents.
Let me add:
  • Fire
    The wheel
    metal work
    agriculture
    animal husbandry
to name but a few

chrismb
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Post by chrismb »

KitemanSA wrote:Let me add:Fire [&c.]
Sure, but these came before notions of:
IPR ownership
copyright
international finance
stocks and shares
grants and applications
(in short, pretty much before taxation itself.)

these have the effect of making it non-viable to progress a design if it is not protected. Just take 'orphan drugs', for example, or those tranditional remedies that no-one is prepared to screen through drugs trials because they'd have no protection over them. What a waste, mankind!

Betruger
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Post by Betruger »

chrismb wrote:It might mean that something new is in the pipeline.
That's the first and only really plausible explanation I saw, reading this news. Not that I'm convinced either, but the alternative leads to a dead end, so it's not a worthwhile path to ponder.

BenTC
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Post by BenTC »

Its not that I wouldn't consider exploiting a patent if had one, but in general patents do not necessarily benefit society. Here are some reasons why, bits and pieces culled from http://fare.tunes.org/articles/patents.html, which say it better than I could:

Indenture of Employees
Consider the consequences on employees, including inventors among them: Employees who develop proficiencies the application of which depend on patents find themselves suddenly undervalued in the labour market. Indeed, patents reduce the number of potential employers, since only license holders may take advantage of these proficiencies. This indenture of employees to privilege holders means reduced mobility for employees in general, and thus a more expensive and less efficient job market. In the end, the companies themselves will have to pay higher wages for less adapted employees. Everyone loses with patents.

Contradiction between Patents and Public Research
Patents were meant as an indirect way to foster innovation; so it would be economically absurd to patent the results of public (tax funded) research: indeed, in the case of public research, the public has already paid for the research, through taxes, so it needn't pay for it a second time; the only result of the patent is the monopoly, that restricts the use of the technique that was paid for, and deprives the public from both the technique. More competitors, as prohibited by the monopoly, could only mean more deployment of the technique. The patent is absolutely no incremental encouragement to innovate for public research, since the encouragement was already completely given as public funds; but the patent will still have its detrimental effects on the public, and its limiting effects on the use of the discovered technique.

Loss of Liberty to Customers
With industrial protectionism, innovation is no longer consumer-driven, but producer-driven. The evolution of any product line resides on the shoulders of a one monopolistic provider. A consumer cannot compare between providers and choose one that suits him better. Thus, the risks for the customers are high that, even in good faith, the monopolistic producer will lead the whole industry into quite suboptimal (or sometimes catastrophic) choices. The overall result, for customers, is thus not only bad quality of services and high prices, but less liberty in choice of technological solutions, and thus solutions that are less adapted to their needs.

Delays in Publication
Patents were allegedly made to foster publication of inventions that would otherwise remain secret. But actually, patents result in scientific findings being published later, and in disuse of techniques that could not in any way remain secret. Indeed, due to patent regulations, research centers will hesitate to publish results in ways that would prevent their patenting them. This is due to regulations that prevent patenting of previously published material. In such case, the patent system will actually delay (or even suppress) publication of material that would otherwise be published.

Technical Lock-in and Research Avoidance
Once a patented technique is successfully spread, it creates incentives for a whole range of nasty behavior from the privilege holder, whereas other people are forced into passiveness, or strongly incited into it. Successful patent monopolists, deriving lots of (socially destructive) revenues from their patents (which is the primary economic effect of protection), are incited into finding ways to secure these revenues. The monopolist will try to accumulate new patents regularly, so that even when his original patent expires, he still has a monopoly on the modern form of the technique. At first glance, it looks like this will foster innovation, but then, the kind of innovation that is incited is not superior ways to use the technique, for the benefit of the public; it is ways to secure monopolistic revenues. This means that a large part of the research will be diverted from making things cheaper, simpler and better, into making them more expensive, more complex to interface to; Companies that hold patents will tend to fund research that depends on their existing patents, and to discard research that circumvents their patents.
Last edited by BenTC on Wed Nov 11, 2009 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

chrismb
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Post by chrismb »

The pro's and con's of patents are widely discussed, and on a regular basis.

Not sure what your point is here, in the context of the thread. You seem to be thinking about a different question; 'should EMC2 patent', rather than; 'why has this patent been abandoned'.

Are you suggesting that at the end of a patent process, EMC2 and/or the USN has had a pang of principles and decided to abandon this patent so as to make a unilateral stand that not having a patent in place is better for societal benefits?

I agree with the critiques of patents, but it's not the world we live in.

MirariNefas
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Post by MirariNefas »

scareduck wrote:
Well, then, why haven't they?

We've heard nothing from Rick since June (IIRC). I don't wonder if this isn't why.
Sometimes, a business will file a patent application, but not finish the application intentionally. This establishes a recorded instance of the "art" (so that nobody can later make a patent on the same design). This way, they don't have to release full documentation which would allow a competitor to build or improve on the design (a typical stipulation in patents).

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?

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