Russ George: LENR Essentially Open Source Technology

There’s an interesting article on Russ George’s Atom Ecology website today titled “Cold fusion LENR poised to be unleashed as a weapon of economic mass destruction”, in which Russ discusses the potential effects of LENR’s emergence on the energy markets.

He believes that it is only a matter of time now before cold fusion/LENR, which he thinks has so far been successfully kept under wraps by a ‘near perfect smear campaign’, emerges onto the energy scene with the potential to produce energy that is too cheap to meter.

This is a topic that over the years has been discussed at length here, and there are various opinions about a possible conspiracy by important players to beat down cold fusion — and that’s not the subject of this post. What I found most interesting in this article is Russ’s contention that cold fusion/LENR technology is now effectively open source. He writes:

A key element for those who have worked so effectively and dutifully for the past 25 years suppressing and smearing cold fusion, also known as LENR (low energy nuclear reactions), is that they have driven the technology into becoming effectively open source technology. Hundreds of patent applications have been steadfastly rejected by the US and other nations patent processes. The scientists and inventors behind those discoveries have inevitably been unable to keep secret their discoveries which having leaked into the public domain make the field open source. Given the innate simplicity of the techniques and materials needed to produce cold fusion and the corrupt patent system forcing that know how into the open what big business always wants “technological intellectual property barriers to entry” by potential competitors has utterly evaporated.

We are currently seeing ongoing efforts recently among people who are closely following LENR to try and understand and replicate the mechanisms that cause the impressive LENR reactions that have been reported by Rossi and others. As Russ says here, there is good deal of information now openly available on the web that provides clues about how to replicate the effect, and now a steady stream of research is being published by groups like the Martin Fleischmann Memorial Project to help other replicators.

My question here is — does this mean that LENR is now an open source technology?

People are filing patents regularly around the technology, and just a few have been granted to date. As far as I know, patent protection does not prohibit experimenters from carrying out their own research and publishing results, but I wonder what legal recourse patent holders might try to take if people the world over start building their own LENR products that produce useful energy based on information in the public domain.

It seems possible that a garage industry of creating LENR devices could emerge if building them really is as simple as it appears to be, once certain parameters are understood — and I wonder what the ramifications of that might be in terms legalities and perhaps even government regulations.

  • Zephir

    Many working examples of cold fusion are rather easy and cheap to replicate: the electrolysis of potassium carbonate with nickel electrodes (Notoya) and/or heating of nickel with lithium hydride (Parkhomov). If these examples are working, nothing prohibits to explore them further even with layman individuals. The heating of nickel with hydrides may be already covered with europatents of Piantelli though.

  • Jonnyb

    It will probably take 20 years before the Patents are up, so this will give enough time to make some big money if you have a valid Patent. Then off course you can regulate the supply of raw materials needed, tax it etc. We can hope that this does not happen, sure it will.

    • Sanjeev

      I’d say that’s the “old world” thinking and concepts.
      What if many other countries refuse to pay the “share of the loot” to the patent holder? The raw materials are sand, rocks and water, with a nearly free source of energy anyone can produce a limitless amount of raw material. What kind of regulation and taxation will be practical here?
      With LENR we will enter a new world. Welcome… you are amongst the very first lot 🙂

      • Jonnyb

        I hope so Sanjeev, but I live in the real world. If there is profit in it then some will always try and manipulate the system. Give it time, a few hundred or thousand years, and maybe things will change?

        • Sanjeev

          There can be local manipulation, or it can be delayed, but some others somewhere in this big world will adopt the new way and make life difficult for manipulators. The world is not a organized unit, its chaotic and distributed and changes everyday. Whatever that makes the majority happy slowly rises up, no matter what.

          So may be a few decades, 50 years at most.

  • PappyYokum

    I have heard the “too cheap to meter” claim used in reference to fission power generation. That turned out not to be true. The overcapacity of fiber optic cable buried in the 1990’s made telephone service too cheap to meter, but it never became free. The fees became flat and metering pretty much ended. In any case, it seems to me that there won’t be any metering to do if power distribution becomes decentralized with LENR and the current power network becomes obsolete.
    With regard to patents, they are only as good as the holder’s ability to defend it. Large corporations who violate patents can keep the matter in court until the holder is exhausted, or dead, if that is desired.

    • PappyYokum, this is off topic, but as an artist I just got to say, that’s one of the coolest icons I’ve ever seen.

    • Eyedoc

      sounds like the wisdom of age talking 😉

  • In the US, state and federal tax combined get about 50 cents a gallon of gasoline. Do the math on that then remove it from the budgets. The government will not take an interest in CF until the masses scream for it.
    Perhaps in the future it will be replaced by an energy usage tax, a steep one at that.

    • Jonnyb

      The Tax lost on fossil fuels will need to be replaced or the whole economic system has to be changed.

      • Nicholas Chandler-Yates

        the tax on fossil fuels would be made up for by the economic benefits that come with cheap energy for all. this means more money for people to spend, and the govt makes its taxes anyway.
        The govt doesn’t make money through taxes anyway, they make money through selling debt. (seriously look it up)

        • Jonnyb

          Yeh but the Taxes pay the debt back, unless you have to borrow to pay your debt like one unfortunate E.U. country is having to do, with great harm to most of it’s residents.

  • georgehants

    With all respect and care for Mr. Rossi I believe the capitalistic route for Cold Fusion must be bypassed.
    The sooner one of the open groups working to replicate the E-Cat succeed the better for they will freely pass on the method one hopes.
    If not, then the sooner China etc. flood the World with cheap Cold Fusion devices to stop the usual crazy accumulation of riches and power by a few the better.
    Cold Fusion and all other technological advances should be for all, I believe.
    Insane patents that mean high priced drugs etc not reaching those most in need is in my opinion a crime on humanity.

    • Nicholas Chandler-Yates

      china is going to jump on CF reactors… they have no qualms about ‘mainstream’ science. They have a real problem with too many coal power plants polluting their air.

      • Gerard McEk

        And Rusia, and India and South Afrika etc. LENR/CF cannot be stopped anymore, the gost is out of the bottle. Now that the world knows that MIT and others deliberately manipulated the data in order to maintain the status quo (probably well payed by some industries or miljardairs who wanted this result), nobody feels the need to regard the patent rules regarding LENR anyway after that affair. I believe Russ is right but maybe for another reason. The patent world is corrupt!

        • Eyedoc

          see my above comment

      • Eyedoc

        But, so what do you think is the delay ? they dont have to meet ‘certification’, ‘testing’ etc

    • Observer

      Would you rather we go back to the system where innovations die with the inventor? You can take people’s assets by force for the common good, but not their unspoken thoughts.

      The patent office is designed to make ideas public knowledge in the exchange of a limited monopoly on the use of that idea. A monopoly the inventor of a truly novel concept already had to begin with.

      By refusing to grant patents the patent office has undermined their own purpose.

      • georgehants

        Observer, why do so many people only see one solution to a problem and then seemingly close their minds?
        Can you think of any other possible solutions to the problems of capitalism etc?
        I am not asking for a debate, I have put my view and I have answered your reply that now only requires you to answer yes or no to my two questions.

        • Observer

          First question: This is not a yes or no question. The answer is “parallax”.

          Second Question: Problems and humans are mutually dependent. One can not exist with out the other. Capitalism is a step on an evolutionary ladder of solving peoples problems. When you leave this step make sure you are going up and not going down. Can I think of a better system? Not without trying it first. Worse or better are defined by the unintended consequences.

          What solution is more “enlightened”; trading things of value with mutual consent, or taking what you want because you can?

          Come on, take de bate! You know you want to.

          • georgehants

            Many thanks, but circular with no suggestions for improvement to the problems in my first comment.
            I will leave it at that.

          • Observer

            If I new the answer, it would only torture my existence.

            Saviors get crucified.

            Fortunately, there are people like Rossi who can bare that cross.

          • georgehants

            Observer, very few I think “know the answers”, do you not agree that in all things it is having the will to find improvements and then an open-mind to all possible answers.
            We may take this view on Cold Fusion, capitalism or anything, I think.

          • Observer

            The answers can only be known after the fact. Are you a hero or a villain if you are willing to do harm in pursuit of curing harm? If your vaccine infects 40,000 people and does not cure the disease you are a villain. If it does cure the disease, history will declare you a hero conveniently forget the cost. Being open-minded to all possible answers means killing a lot of people “for the common good”. Think carefully before you make that step.

          • georgehants

            Your answer is illogical to the extreme, I would rather you did not answer my comments please as it seems to please you to be awkward.
            I will not reply to your comments.

    • William D Fleming

      What is called capitalism is nothing more than people around the world pooling resources in order to accomplish works too large for individuals. Not really an “ism”, it is just the natural evolvement of the free market enabled by larger populations, and better communication and transportation. Stock markets are just one of many specialised markets needed in a complex society–without them trading would still go on, just less efficiently. Wily and motivated traders and innovators have always gotten rich but their richness has not caused poverty to others–it’s just the opposite. Instead of feeling envy and resentment toward people like Bill Gates, Sam Walton, or Andrea Rossi, what I feel is gratitude for their contributions. It’s a happier state of mind.

  • builditnow

    Patent rejections now become a huge benefit to Rossi and other LENR developers.

    The patent delays / rejections could have a reverse effect. It could give those that applied for patents that were rejected, 20 years from the time that these patents are revisited and issued (a very likely event).
    Many patents are issued too early, before they are economically viable and the patent holders make nothing or very little. The economic benefit is often after the patent expires. The best patent is one that starts at the same time as the product is an economic block buster.

    This means that all those rejected cold fusion patents will be “very valuable” for a long time.
    Patents will be enforced for this technology, the rich guy wins the battle here.
    It’s essentially a gift to Rossi and others at this point.
    Rossi is probably ready to hug and thank all the paid skeptopaths when his billions start to pour in.
    He won’t give them any cash of course, just a hug and a well done, go live in your car now (or jail).

  • bfast

    I heartily agree with part of Mr. George’s assertion — the first economic effects of LENR will be very destructive. However, that will be followed by a wave of economic boom like we have never witnessed before.

    I heartily disagree with Mr. George’s analysis of the intellectual property situation. First, he says, “Given the innate simplicity of the techniques and materials needed to produce cold fusion” Well, not so much. The basic materials are abundant and cheap, but it has taken this long to get to market because the techniques are not obvious.

    More importantly, I do not believe that rejections by the patent office will make one hoot of a difference. Once the reality of the technology is made clear, and the USPTO repents, it will retroactively accept these patent applications. If it does not do so, there will be a few nasty litigations, then the USPTO will retroactively accept the applications. I believe that Eng. Rossi is well protected, as are the other players in this field.

    • Surveilz

      If open science leads to the open sourcing of LENR devices, there is absolutely nothing that can be done to hinder its proliferation. Though tyranny of all sorts can and probably would reign it in for a short period of time.

    • malkom700

      We must not forget that the state spends too a lot of energy. In addition the low energy prices enriching the people and the rich society will have the rich state only.

  • LuFong

    “Given the innate simplicity of the techniques and materials needed to produce cold fusion.” With the possible (and likely) exceptions of Rossi and Pakrhomov, we still do not not have a repeatable verifiable examples of LENR (at commercial levels). My apologies to Brillion, BLP, etc but we still putting the cart in front of the horse and we are just not there yet.

    The issue as I see it is not whether LENR will be open source. LENR is not a technology but a physical phenomenon, like electricity, and patenting it should not be allowed. As a physical phenomenon, LENR should be produced and studied in the open which unfortunately it hasn’t. Technological manifestations of this phenomenon, if truly unique, should be protected with patents etc in my view in order to bring the forces of the market to bear on it’s development. It will be interesting to see exactly what is going considered unique and patentable given that well developed nature of the energy market that exists today. Many applications of LENR seem to be just simple analogues of existing energy devices.

    • GreenWin

      Hey, the USPTO has issued patents for chunks of the human genome. Why? Because a voracious (and not unproductive) biotech industry has lobbyists who pay for complicity. I would hazard to say there will be as many permutations of LENR as there have been of the internal combustion engine. Provided guv’ment does not try to coral it into yet another bloated agency. We have enough of those already.

      • LuFong

        Didn’t the SCOTUS recently (2013) rule that naturally occurring genes cannot be patented?

        • GreenWin

          Correct. Genes extracted from naturally occurring cells cannot be patented. Prior to the decision on Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics – it was possible.

          • psi2u2

            Thank God the Supremes got that one correct at least.

        • Robyn Wyrick

          I don’t think that is entirely correct – or actually, I don’t think the language is clear about the actual outcome. As I understand it, yes, the court ruled that naturally occurring genes cannot be patented – however, genes contain all kinds of stray and “junk” DNA that appear to neither regulate nor create proteins. And what companies *can* patent is a “synthetic” gene which contains all the operational DNA is derived from naturally occurring genes – but just selectively omits the junk.

          One “natural”, one “synthetic” – both containing the same DNA to make an existing, living organism. It is like saying they can’t come take the forest, but they can have all the trees.

          • psi2u2

            Another very wisely balanced comment. Not to return to a sore point, but I think you may find, Bachole, that the same logic strongly applies to the current cannabis prohibition. Before 1937 when the Marijuana stamp act was passed over the objections of the AMA, as much as 70% of all pharmaceuticals in the US contained cannabis. But a plant cannot be patented. So the race is now on by big pharma, backed by big government, to discover patentable derivatives, while keeping the plant illegal and throwing people in jail for using it, whether for medicinal or “recreational” purposes.

            In other words, I would argue that the primary reason this substance is still illegal, and that the law still willfully confuses growing a plant with “manufacturing” a drug, is that the upside medical potential is so huge that big pharma is doing everything it can to stop a more well-informed public discussion of the real science. Anyway….just sayin’! Watch how it unfolds.

    • Daniel Maris

      I agree – we’ve got a long way to go before we can say this technology has been confirmed.

  • Oceans2014

    we will soon find out if Cherokee Fund – is a peaceful alternative energy company with a social conscience or money hungry billionaires who will hinder the advance of LENR to the rest of the planet in exchange for vast wealth to themselves and their inter circle.

    • Enrique Ferreyra

      Really, what do you think…
      They are business people..

  • georgehants
  • Many of the comments here seem to be the same old same old stuff… for new gear that might help if you are of that nature here’s a link 😉

    • Mats002

      OK I got the message, I raise from the keyboard and go make some LENR now…

  • GreenWin

    A favorite analogy is refrigeration. Dozens of patents were issued for refrigeration systems in the early 20th century. But this did not inhibit engineers and marketers from introducing dozens of variant products based on vapor compression refrigeration. First units were for industrial food preservation. Later when Freon was introduced, home units became affordable. Home refrigeration put the ice house and ice man out of business. But it put hundreds of thousands of designers, manufacturers, retailers, installers and maintenance people to work. Patents on useful simple technologies do not inhibit adoption on mass scale.

  • Bernie777

    Who needs LENR most? China. Who pays no attention to patent law, or intellectual property rights? China. Who has proven they can duplicate a technology (steal) and produce it for a fraction of the cost produced in the West? China. China is on top of this new technology and
    will be using it, developing it, long before the Western money interests will allow it to be developed; this will have far reaching long term economic and social ramification.

  • Obvious

    I suspect the transition will be as boring as the adoption of CFL and then LED bulbs. Both save lots of money and energy compared to their predecessors. Both were hailed as near-miraculous replacements for existing tech by their supporters, inventors, and manufacturers. They were greeted with a ho-hum by consumers who used them when the cost dropped and the old bulbs were worn out, although widely adopted in new construction. LEDs, however, have many uses besides lighting a building, many of which were not anticipated, leading to new technologies nearly inconceivable at the time of their invention. Perhaps this is because fluorescent bulb technology is very old, and the mere shrinking of size to replace incandescent bulbs was not much of an advance as LED lighting.

    • The precise same technology in a CFL bulb that consumes 5 watts of electricity and puts out the light of a 60 watt incandescent bulb can likely be simply modified at a cost of pennies to become a cold fusion heater element that puts out 500 watts of useful heat! I can buy CFL’s these days for a couple of bucks. Imagine heating your home, garage, barn, or doghouse for the price of a two dollar bulb and 5 watts of electricity…. that’s energy too cheap to meter!

      • psi2u2

        I hope your optimism turns out to be justified. Meanwhile, thanks for spreading the word, Russ!

        • My optimism comes from bench top experience building and operating my cold fusion/lenr devices both in my own lab(s) and major national labs around the world since 1989.

          As for spreading the word what you, anyone, or everyone might do to help is take the time it would take you to replace a CFL lightbulb in your house to tickle your keyboards and share the news of my original post (and E-Catworld’s derivitive post) on social media. That will make a meaningful contribution to getting this technology to save the planet.

      • Eyedoc

        Bu what makes you think such a wonderful thing can actually be done. aside from a ‘dream’ of ‘what if’

  • Axil Axil

    Most is not all that old LENR tech is Pd/D and is worthless as a energy product. Ni/H (LENR+) tech is fairly new. I see a day in which LENR+++ will be running in magnetic bottles at 10000C, so their is more then enough room for future patent innovation.

  • Mytakeis

    In addition to the woes hindering LENR’s advance, believe the greatest is the current
    debt-ridden servitude people find themselves born into. Debt issuing practices, developed since the middle ages, is getting ready to explode. Post-revaluation, one’s work and hard currency will replace the interest based system now in existence. LENR devices will provide power, will not cost more than one’s work or assets can afford, and be optimistic! It will change the world, to go along with the liberties accompanying trade free of fiat finances.

  • I like the ‘irony of fate’ touch in the description of how LENR has been effectively pushed into open source. The open source model is also what many suggested to me that Rossi should be persuaded to follow, during 2011 and 2012 when I was involved in several tests of Rossi’s E-Cat.
    And it might turn out that the basic LENR technology will become open source. However, there will be tons of improvements and new applications possible to cover with patents — control methods, new materials, scaling up and down… It will never stop.

  • Ophelia Rump

    Licensing a name brand technology will determine the ultimate winners in this race.
    Selling consulting expertise and product development knowledge will become the new and most profitable industry. Mass production will be second in profitability to the sale of name and knowledge. Implementation of the technology is at best tertiary, and best left to partner companies.

    Look for the logo: E-Cat Inside!

  • William D. Fleming

    For those I propose an enjoyable term in a work camp, picking cotton and so forth, or perhaps a gentle execution.