Friday, September 14, 2007

Another reason why "peer to patent" is a bad idea

On September 13, after having read a rambling thread on the concept of "burning water" on digg [Burning Salt Water], IPBiz was going to post on the irrelevance of such things to science and, by inference, the lack of significance of peer to patent to evaluating patent applications. Didn't get around to it, but then IPBiz came across the following by Andrey Milyan at searchmarketing:

There is little doubt that patents are driving innovation. However, those same patents can hinder the progress if applied incorrectly. There are some huge issues with the patent system in the United States right now, resulting in increase in lawsuits and huge backlogs and delays. Many feel (including yours truly) that with all the new highly technical fields out there, the system needs to be reevaluated. Well, the change might be coming. According to Economist, The United States Patent and Trademark Office is looking into going social.

Remember the whole “wisdom of the crowd” idea behind websites like digg? USPTO is trying to do the same with patent examination by opening the process up to online collaboration. The project is called Peer to Patent and they are starting with 250 patent applications in the technology sector.

Things like digg are examples of why "peer to patent" is a bad idea. If digg on burning salt water is a model for the "wisdom of the crowd" contemplated for the USPTO in peer to patent, consider the following from digg:

-->Anyone who knows how salt dissolves in water knows that NaCl is a polar ionic compound. The water molecules are not polar based on net charges but the fact that they are slightly bent (outside my sphere of knowing why). When the NaCl dissolves, it splits into Na and Cl ions, which are attracted to the poles of the water molecules.
Now, this reaction ONLY appears when the salt is present, which means that the ions are having an effect on the water molecules. If the water molecules have to each exert a certain amount of force to break the ionic bonds between the Na and Cl ions. Logic says that the ions are simultaneously exerting a force on the bonds of the water molecules. It is possible that if the ions are weakening the covalent bonds between the hyrogen and oxygen, it would take less energy from the outside to break them. Upon burning the hydrogen that is released, the standard amount of energy is released.
Again, 2H2O + NaCl (energy stored in covalent bonds, call this 1.0 - the effect of ions) --> 2H2 + O2 -> (burning releases energy = the covalent bonds, or 1.0) --> 2H2O
Also, this IS burning a fuel - eventually, the water will evaporate, leaving you to add more water. Water in = more H20 to burn, etc.
This wouldnt work by feedback, so it is NOT perpetual - the water, after burning, is in its purest state WITHOUT the sodium and chrorine ions. Eventually the liquid will separate from the NaCl either forming a precipitate or becoming oversaturated.
Correct me if you spot any errors. [IPBiz: !!]

-->Okay. So It has been about 2 years since I took chemistry. Please note im not saying it is possible just pointing something out. But you guys are wrong in your thinking. Your saying it can NOT work no matter what. And you use the idea that energy cannot be created or destroyed. Which is true. But you are not creating energy. Hydrogen is a very very good place for energy when burned. Only problem is separating it from the water molecule. Yes right now there is no way to separate it from water without it taking more energy. But that doesn't mean that it will forever be that way. You are not creating energy when you are separating it. You are putting energy in to seperate two elements. One of the elements just so happens to have a lot of possible energy when burned. By what some of you are saying, it wouldn't make sense that coal is making us energy. If you are able to seperate the water molecule for less energy then what you could get from when you burn hydrogen then it is very possible. The same thing happens with gas. You have to put in a little energy and it releases a lot more energy. It isn't being created, just converted.


thread on CR4 on burning water

thread on CR4 on intellectual property including the text:

To protect intellectual property, you can follow two distinct paths, namely keep it secret, do not tell a soul (and probably not make a cent) or patent it and get government to help to protect your idea.

We have a big discussion going regarding the second option. We (i.e. our company) have registered a patent and are now doing the engineering and research to make it viable. However, many people (management) still feel we have to keep our knowledge a secret. [IPBiz: !!] They go through immense lengths to prevent people from accessing information, to such an extent, that it makes life difficult for us engineers trying to design "known" equipment. We are not allowed to talk to suppliers without them signing huge secrecy agreements and that wastes a lot of time.

So here comes my question and this is my opinion, please confirm what I say .

As far as I am aware, if you patent something, any knowledgeable person must be able to apply that patent and make it work. It does not mean it has to be economic, or well done, but he must be able to apply it. Now, if you consider Leonardo da Vinci's designs, he built in fatal flaws in his designs to, what I believe, to prevent competitors from applying his designs. Thus is you patent something and keep something out, or build in a fatal flaw, you work against the system and actually prevent any knowledgeable person of applying the idea.

The idea to register a patent is to get government to help you protect the idea, but also to be able to make $$$$$$$. If your patent cannot be applied by anyone but yourself, why patent the idea in the first place?

I hope I am making myself clear enough. Are there anyone out there with the applicable experience or knowledge to give me the ammunition I need to convince the powers to be that they wasting their time and money.


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