Attorney Comments on Rossi’s US Patent (David French on Cold Fusion Now — Part 2 now published)

Thanks to gregha for pointing out an interesting article published on the Cold Fusion Now website which is an in depth analysis of Andrea Rossi’s recently approved patent. It’s written by David A French, a retired patent attorney.

Here’s the link:

UPDATE: Part 2 of this analysis is now available at:

David French sees this patent as being relatively concise and succinct — a mark of a good patent, and he says it has the hallmarks of being written by competent patent attorneys. He also notes that it does not deal with theory, which he says is not necessary in a patent. A patent should allow someone “skilled in the art” to be able to use the information to reproduce the claim. This is something that I know some replicators are already trying to do.

In this article he focuses on Claim 1 of the patent which reads:

1. An apparatus for heating fluid, said apparatus comprising a tank, an electrical resistor, and a fuel wafer,

wherein said tank is configured for holding fluid to be heated,

wherein said fuel wafer is configured to be in thermal communication with said fluid,

wherein said fuel wafer includes a fuel mixture that includes reagents and a catalyst,

wherein said electrical resistor is in thermal communication with said fuel mixture and said catalyst,

wherein said resistor is configured to be coupled to a voltage source,

wherein said apparatus further comprises a controller in communication with said voltage source, and a temperature sensor,

wherein said fuel mixture comprises lithium, and lithium aluminum hydride,

wherein said catalyst comprises a group 10 element,

wherein said controller is configured to monitor a temperature from said temperature sensor, and, based at least in part on said temperature, to reinvigorate a reaction in said fuel mixture,

wherein reinvigorating said reaction comprises varying a voltage of said voltage source.

French writes that the ordering of claims in a patent is significant, because if a competitor files a patent that includes all the aspects of claim 1, then it will be considered an infringement, and that the challenge for competitors seeking their own patents will be to create working arrangements that include something that is not contained in Rossi’s section 1.

Regarding some of the details of the patent, French looks at the issue of lithium. The patent states that lithium, and lithium aluminum hydride comprise the fuel mixture. He states:

If the presence of elemental lithium enhances the generation of excess energy, then this is an invention in its own right, and merits the granting of patent exclusivity.

On the other hand, if it turns out that elemental lithium need not be present in order to achieve the useful, commercially relevant effect, then this claim has an “loophole”. Patent applicants and their attorneys are expected to labor long and hard in order to draft claims that do not have a “loophole”.

Addressing another possible loophole, if the lithium aluminum hydride serves only as a source of hydrogen, is it essential for the aluminum to be present? Other sources of hydrogen could include magnesium hydride – MgH2; calcium hydride – CaH2; sodium borohydride – NaBH4 and lithium borohydride – LiBH4 as examples. Cf “Thoughts on attending ICCF-19 in Padua by David French”.

It’s really interesting to get the perspective of someone who is experienced in patent law, and who is also a serious student of LENR. French says he plans to look at further aspects of the patent in future articles, and I look forward to reading them.

  • Jouni Tuomela

    The aluminium oxide tube could perhaps also act as a catalyst, if it would act like iron oxide, having nanoparticles of platinum sitting on the surface. Just guessing from info on Ego Out -blog.

    • Omega Z

      If one wants cheap & plentiful energy, they should stick to the cheapest & most plentiful working materials available. Platinum is neither. To the contrary, it is rare & expensive. It is why auto Industry has spent hundreds of millions trying to find alternatives for catalytic converters.

  • Uncle Bob

    Quoted from the patent referred to in the lead article;

    ” wherein said controller is configured to monitor a temperature from said temperature sensor, and, based at least in part on said temperature, to reinvigorate a reaction in said fuel mixture,

    wherein reinvigorating said reaction comprises varying a voltage of said voltage source.”

    After all these years of saying the voltage input is essential for ‘safety reasons’, and therefore the reactor can’t be unplugged from the power source ‘for safety reasons’, I don’t see in the patent any mention of any purpose of the input power source other than “to re-invigorate a reaction in said fuel mixture”.

    It was always a puzzle to me how a reaction which required the application of heat by way of an electrical heater to start it up and make it work, could require the application of more heat from the same heating element to damp it down.
    It always sounded a bit like, to light a fire, throw some petrol on it, and to damp it down, throw some more petrol on it.
    Now that feature would be well worthy of a patent so I’m really surprised it didn’t rate a mention.
    I wonder why not?

    • Albert D. Kallal

      Nothing new mentioned that I can see. However, you do have a REALLY great question in your post.

      So not sure how the statement re-invigorate changes any view in
      any what whatsoever as to how all these LENR devise work. The simple concept here
      is heat is applied until the reaction starts. At that point you back off on the
      input energy. The reaction starts to slow down and then stop – so before this occurs,
      you again put more input energy in. This really much explains the self-sustain
      mode Rossi often talks about.

      However, the “perplexing” part is why then does the
      reaction stop when you turn off power if it already hot and production heat? The
      simple answer is that the energy produced is in the form of light and not heat.

      The fact that by turning off input power you can stop the
      reaction is really a MUST OCCUR process. If not for this effect, then once the reaction
      starts then how would one turn it off? And how would one prevent the runaway
      heat effect that P&F observed?

      I do think in the future that LENR devices will self-sustain
      and likely use pressure to regulate the effect as opposed to input heat. So as
      the reaction increases then you reduce pressure to slow down the reaction.

      Right now LENR uses input heat to control the output
      because that’s all we have as a choice at this point in time (technology and design

      Using pressure would be a far better approach (ignoring
      the engineering challenges that pressure regulation would present to the

      >and to damp it down, throw some more petrol on it.

      I NEVER seen any suggestion that more input power is used
      to stop or slow down the reaction.

      A good metaphor is an oven heating element. The oven does
      not VARY the input power to the stove coils by a voltage change. Such devices
      use a simple on/off switch combined with a thermostat.

      So when the stove heating coil reaches a given temperature,
      then you turn off power to the coils (but note how they glow and remain hot for
      some time). If one kept the power on, then the coils would eventually melt.

      So this “heat” input for LENR is really no different how
      your stove works. And you can think of the glowing coil much like the LENR
      effect. Note that Rossi has mentioned in the past that the reaction produces energy
      in the form of light which then in turn hits the walls of the reactor where
      conversion to heat occurs.

      So to make the coils glow on your stove, you put in more
      input power – but the thermostat then turns the power OFF to the coils when
      they get hot (but they do glow for a while).

      LENR is the same in that LENR starts producing that “glow”
      or LENR effect once the conditions such as pressure and heat are high enough.
      However that glow energy is in the form of light and NOT heat coming off the nickel
      etc. Thankfully this energy is in the form of light else the reaction surly
      would self-sustain from the internal heat. So turning off power means that the
      glow stops.

      As noted if the LENR device was built in such a way to
      keep the heat inside and self-sustain, we would NOT have a means to turn off the
      device or control it. In fact this effect is the WHOLE CAN of worms that allows
      such devices to work (and by work in this context I mean be controlled).

      So the input energy starts a reaction that produces a LOT
      of heat, but that heat is in the form of light and thus that “glow” does not self-sustain
      since the energy is NOT in the form of heat. This is also how the heat travels
      from the sun to the earth – it is in the form of light and not heat.

      I thus much agree that a device that produces heat needs
      heat input to KEEP it going sounds VERY illogical UNLESS the heat energy being
      produced is in the form of light energy and not heat.

      I WOULD LOVE to see an e-cat with a glass window on one
      end – the effect would be a very cool lighting system. And the effect would
      also likely be blinding in terms of intensity of the light.

      In fact we may well see LENR used to light buildings by
      having a LENR box in a building with a bunch of fiber optic cables to carry
      that light to all parts of the building as required.

      So the LENR reaction produces light energy and not heat energy
      and as a result turning off the input heat stops that “glow” or light source –
      the result is a means to stop the reaction by turning off the LENR light bulb
      so to speak!

      Albert D. Kallal
      Edmonton, Alberta Canada

      • Jouni Tuomela

        Yes, light and Surface Plasmon Polaritons, could be the solution.
        I think we already have seen the light shine through Aluminium oxide, from MFMP:s tests. The wavelength of light could also have some meaning through some resonance-effets, witch could get the SPP:s really going 🙂

      • Omega Z

        Even when the 1mW plant is in SSM, it still requires between 8kW & 10kW of power(Per Rossi says). It is my guess that even when in SSM, it requires low levels of stimulation to keep it in SSM. Otherwise, it drops out of SSM within minutes. Thus, when you turn the power of, it shuts down. Note: 8kW to 10kW in a 1mW plant is 1% of output.

        I don’t understand those who don’t want a controlled device. Perhaps when their home becomes a sauna they will realize their folly. I myself want some control over my heat & electrical supply.

  • fritz194

    I am no patent attorney, but somewhat used to read patents and even have my own ones…
    This patent is pretty curious because of 2 reasons: 1st, the special disclosure – less than normal – and 2nd – the many loopholes mentioned – and I see even more – which is not so usual.
    My speculative conclusion is that based on the earlier mentioned patents in another category covered by SAWS procedure – there was some deal – that if he can prove that it works – a patent which exactly covers the setup can be issued in another category.
    There are lots of possibilities to preheat and activate the effect without using a “resistor” – probably – but the choice to just claim a “resistor” used is somewhat suspicious.
    He could demonstrate a device controlled using resistors – and maybe thats the point.
    If he can prove it using an rf excitation – they will grant another patent but he has to prove it.
    You can also heat resistors using a current source, the heat can even come from the resistive features of a capacitor and so one. Or maybe I am wrong… curious.

    • fritz194

      ..same with RaneyTM Ni.
      He could have mentioned it – but he describes just what he uses.

    • Obvious

      There are at least 63 more patents in waiting, possibly mostly with the non-publication status invoked. This one is barely the beginning. Who knows how critical the earlier published applications are. But I bet they are at least partially diversionary in nature. I expect there will be quite a few well-polished and surprising variations of designs coming from Leonardo/Industrial Heat in the relatively near future that will be plugging up loop holes and describing alternate novel embodiments of the Li-H-Ni theme.

    • Omega Z

      Perhaps the resistors have multiple purposes. Feeding special EM fields or RF frequencies to augment the Rossi effect. IMO, they probably also provide feedback that Rossi uses for controlling the Rossi effect.

      Trying to control this process with just temperature measurements would be impractical. There is to much lag time involved. The only thing temperature measurements would be useful for is so as not to exceed the melting point of the nickel.

      • fritz194

        Of course. But the wording could be to use an electrical (heating) element – and this could be almost anything even fed by microwaves… there are lots of ways to accomplish heat, excitation and thermal feedback.

        • Omega Z

          Resistor coils would act much like an antenna that could provide instant feedback from inside the reactor. Like the static energy discussed for direct energy harvest.

          Rossi has said that even if they can develop a gas-cat, it will still require electricity. i.e., Heat is just one element necessary for the reaction to take place. Has anyone analyzed the size & spread/gap of the Resistor coils. It could send/recieve certain energy frequencies.

          • fritz194

            Fully agree,
            Thats why his wirewound resistor could be replaced by a wirewound coil which is almost the same but with different inductivity/resistivity ratio. Using a current source instead of a voltage source would give him heat and an antenna.
            There are lots of papers describing rf emissions from LENR NAE. This means that NAE may convert NAE heat into rf-emissions. Or the other way round – NAE may show negative impedance powered by heat – which may power lc tanks formed by Ni clusters may become active oscillators. Applying an external field would give the possibility to modulate what happens. It seems that these oscillations / electrical phenomena are tightly coupled with the heat effect – otherwise there would be no chance to control the effect that way. I expect that the effect is achieved by somewhat self-stimulated emission – similar to what happens in a laser. If multiple neighboring areas oscillate in a coherent way – they will get an NAE generating heat and low energy x-ray. So control using rf-fields would be perfect. We´ll see. Still – I think there are lots of loopholes or ideas how to achieve the same without the proposed “resistor” – ok the other claims like elements used, etc. safeguard this anayway.

          • Omega Z

            “wirewound resistor could be replaced by a wirewound coil”

            How about a wirewound resistor that’s been doped.
            If I recall, Rossi said the resistor was doped with another element.

          • fritz194

            “Normally”, (incandescent bulbs) doping is used to get better mechanical strength and less sag even at very high temperatures.

            I remember that it was told that Rossi uses doped inconel wire for his “resistors”.
            I conclude that he gets a wider thermal headroom using these prepared wires – which makes it easier to control. Once LENR kicks in you have to reduce your driving waveform immediatly – but there is some lag from the thermal capacity – so having the most diehard wire is crucial.

          • Axil Axil

            See reference below to understand how RF works


  • Axil Axil

    To get around the Rossi patent, try Yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) (Melting point 2,715 °C (4,919 °F; 2,988 K))

    This idea is now open source.

    This compound is a ceramic in which the crystal structure of zirconium dioxide is made stable at room temperature by an addition of yttrium oxide. These oxides are commonly called “zirconia” (ZrO2) and “yttria” (Y2O3), hence the name.

    It is difficult to solve the heater material problem because most heater elements will oxidize at high temperatures. This is not true for YSZ. Rossi could heat the YSZ tube directly.

    Electroceramics is a class of ceramic materials used primarily for their electrical properties. YSZ is an Electroceramic; it conducts electricity well as an fast ion conductor ceramic that has been used in historically for the glowing rods in Nernst lamps.

    The Nernst lamp was an early form of incandescent lamp. Nernst lamps did not use a glowing tungsten filament. Instead, they used a ceramic rod that was heated to incandescence. Because the rod (unlike tungsten wire) would not further oxidize when exposed to air, there was no need to enclose it within a vacuum or noble gas environment; the burners in Nernst lamps could operate exposed to the air and were only enclosed in glass to isolate the hot incandescent emitter from its environment. A ceramic of zirconium oxide – yttrium oxide was used as the glowing rod.

    • Jouni Tuomela

      sorry, I feel a bit dizzy… smiley moutwideopen

      • Axil Axil

        You might have an ear infection.

  • Omega Z

    Rossi stated 56 pumps some time ago which had our tongues a wagging. That was when we assumed he was using 100+ 10kW reactors.

    We now know it is 52- 20kW reactors as backup & 4- 250kW reactors. 52+4 equals 56 pumps.

    Only 4- 250kW reactors are in use as are 4 pumps. At 1.5 bars & the size of the pumps, I doubt they draw that much wattage.

    In the 1st 3rd party test, Those who run the test said the control box required about 100 watts, but a total of 110 watts was being used during SSM. In Short, they sort of implied 10 watts was still being used by/for the reactor in some way. RF ?

    “I don’t think any power goes to the heaters in SSM.”
    Depends on the definition of power.
    RF would be power, but not power to the resistors.

    I have to admit I can’t account for the full 8kW to 10kW even with RF being fed to the reactors. We’re short on details.

    All I can be somewhat certain of is Rossi needs to supply 1mW of heat & only has 250kW at the mains. A minimum COP=4 without SSM.