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Antigravity Machine Patent Draws Physicists' Ire

Posted by: Sigurd - Sat Nov 12, 2005 2:05 am
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Antigravity Machine Patent Draws Physicists' Ire 
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Post Antigravity Machine Patent Draws Physicists' Ire   Posted on: Sat Nov 12, 2005 2:05 am
Something funny.. (or maybe not ? :roll: )

Brian Handwerk
for National Geographic News

November 11, 2005
A perpetual-motion machine may defy the laws of physics, but an Indiana inventor recently succeeded in having one patented.

On November 1 Boris Volfson of Huntington, Indiana, received U.S. Patent 6,960,975 for his design of an antigravity space vehicle.


Volfson's craft is theoretically powered by a superconductor shield that changes the space-time continuum in such a way that it defies gravity. The design effectively creates a perpetual-motion machine, which physicists consider an impossible device.

Journalist Philip Ball reported on the newly patented craft in the current issue of the science journal Nature.

Robert Park, a consultant with the American Physical Society in Washington, D.C., warns that such dubious patents aren't limited to the antigravity concept.

"I might hear a complaint about a particular patent, and then I look into it," he explained. "More often than not it's a screwball patent. It's an old problem, but it has gotten worse in the last few years. The workload of the patent office has gone up enormously."

Read more at: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news ... atent.html

Shouldn't patents protect "invented" technology, instead of "currently" only dreams :?: :!:

:twisted: Me scrolling on internet pages for possible quantum physics ideas that "can" be proven possible in the short future. (even that I know I'll never succeed building it myself 8), just joking )

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Post    Posted on: Sat Nov 12, 2005 8:44 am
If you're interested in anti-gravity stuff, search for "Podkletnov". He showed an experiment in I think it was 1992 about shielding gravity. I have a video about that on good old VHS *g*
You are also able to find detailed theories about anti-gravity.


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Post    Posted on: Sat Nov 12, 2005 6:06 pm
Glad to see somebody else around here knows that name. Crazy stuff, man, crazy stuff.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Nov 24, 2005 8:23 pm
I suppose one could make some sort of device powered by the kinetic pull of two plates in Casimir Effect in a sort of very miniscule (amplitude of one atom) but high frequency vibration that would run until the materials themselves wore out, and would produce measurable energy, but I can't think of any practical reason for wanting one, or taking the time to build one. It would be the world greatest Rube Goldberg device, but I suppose it would also qualify as perpetual.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Dec 01, 2005 7:37 pm
You'd be better off building one of those old barometer clocks that use changes in atmospheric pressure to keep itself wound. There is one in a museum in England that had a huge amount of mercury in it.

I must admit that there were some anti-gravity claims made by Larry Smalley and Ning Li. I think Marshall has one or two folks interested. Kozar's distraction was also a brain drain from heavy-lift.

There is sad news in the 2006 Farmer's Almanac. A Harris Interactive poll (page 154) ranked many vocations according to their prestige power. Here are the percentages:

Scientist.......................57
Fireman.......................55
Doctor.........................52
Teacher.......................49
Nurse..........................47
Military Officer..............46
Police Officer................42
Priest/clergy.................38
Member of Congress.....30

And Bringing up the rear
Engineer......................28

Even more sad to me is how even the Science Channel treats rocketry. There is a program that comes on 7am Eastern (6am Central) called "Rockets Into Space."

It has good footage of launches from the past and seldom seen footage of payloads. I guess that is good for kids to wake up to, but it needs to come on a bit later--and deserves to be in Prime Time.

I get Charter Cable here in Alabama, where the information given about the program in the TV listing bar is:

"Rockets Into Space: Sports. Non-event"


...Sigh


Last edited by publiusr on Thu Dec 15, 2005 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Post    Posted on: Thu Dec 15, 2005 3:35 am
So, back to the original topic, I'm wondering how long these patents are good for. The details of this anti-gravity idea aside, wouldn't most of these far-fetched patents be long expired before they became remotely technologically possible (not necessarily feasible in its intended purpose, just possible to use the technology listed in the manner suggested)?

Does anyone know how long these patents are valid?


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Post    Posted on: Thu Dec 15, 2005 4:23 am
Quote:
I'm wondering how long these patents are good for. The details of this anti-gravity idea aside, wouldn't most of these far-fetched patents be long expired before they became remotely technologically possible (not necessarily feasible in its intended purpose, just possible to use the technology listed in the manner suggested)?

Does anyone know how long these patents are valid?


Well, as I am a Patent Examiner, I can take a shot at that.
:)
In general, a US patent is good (is enforceable) for a maximum of 20 years.
However, in practice, many patents have a shorter lifespan.

There are several times during the life of the patent, I think like 3, 7, 11, and 16 years from date of issue or something, when the US requires "maintanence fees" to keep the patent alive. Some patents, for instance in the Computer Architecture area, are outdated by their 3rd year and consequently aren't worth the money it takes to keep them alive.

So the short answer: 20 yrs
the medium answer: 20 years, if the maintance fees are paid.

The long answer runs into the issue here, which is that of the so-called "junk" patents.

First of all, as Sigurd noted, the US Patent Office has a huge workload. there are around 2500 patent examiners, and in 2004, the PTO received 325,000 patent applications. In 2005, that number went above 400,000!
So, some patents can get through simply because the examiner didn't have the time to search the extra two hours in which he would have found proof that the application wasn't patentable.

Secondly, sometimes the examiner just doesn't recognize that the application is one of those "perpetual motion" patents.

Thirdly, the section of the US law which governs patents says that an inventor is ENTITLED TO A PATENT UNLESS it can be shown not to be novel, or else obvious to one of ordinary skill. This puts the burden on the examiner; he has to give the inventor a patent unless he can show it unpatentable. "showing," because this is a law area, means documentation. in other words, the examiner has to find something in print, or something that would hold up in a court of law to prove his position. which is often hard to find. I mean, it's kind of hard to find legal proof that

however, occasionally, a "perpetual motion" patent slips through.

Technically, this doesn't really harm anyone, except the inventor who had to pay the fees; he can't really sue anyone for making a perpetual motion machine, can he?

However, at any time, a member of the public can challenge the validity of a patent. Then, the Patent Office will take a second look at it (a reexamination, we call it; it's what's happening to the "Blackberry" patents RIM holds), and if the patent turns up bad it's ruled "unenforceable"; basically this means the patent's thrown out.

Also, the Director of the Patent Office can order a reexamination. This happened one time when a 8-year-old got his daddy (who was a patent lawyer) to submit his "invention", which was a method for swinging on a swing. :? (I mean, how do you find documentation that proves it's obvious to swing in a certain way?)

So there are multiple ways in which the Patent Office protects the public from these kinds of patents.


Last edited by JesseD on Thu Dec 15, 2005 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Post    Posted on: Thu Dec 15, 2005 7:53 am
JesseD wrote:
Also, the Director of the Patent Office can order a reexamination. This happened one time when a 8-year-old got his daddy (who was a patent lawyer) to submit his "invention", which was a method for swinging on a swing. :?


There are just too many people with too much time on their hands, why dont they do something productive?.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Dec 15, 2005 3:44 pm
Hey, at least they're not hurting anyone. As long as they don't bring harm to others whilst amusing themselves, I'm not going to complain very loudly, if at all.

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