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.
UPDATE: Part 2 of this analysis is now available at: http://coldfusionnow.org/analysis-of-rossi-us-patent-9115913-issued-25aug15-part-2/
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.