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.