Science and Bureaucracy

Subject: Science and Bureaucracy
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2006 12:52:20 EDT

But you, Myron, have done that for ECE, testing it against the data. I strongly suspect that would not be good enough for the UK Patent Ofice. That was my point in sending that article, but I should have expressed it more clearly.

EMyrone] at [ wrote:

> There is only one way of establishing a physical law – the one > established by Francis Bacon. A theory (putative physical law) must be > tested against empirical or experimental data. The data determine the > law, not the theory. I wrote to Steorn as requested by Phil Carpenter > and Douglas Mann, but I received no reply. Its theory is apparently > based on the old idea about the Lorenz gauge in special relativity. > Objectivity is a fundamental requirement of physics, so ECE theory > must be used becuae it is generally covariant and objective. Otherwise > we are dealing with the idols of the cave. > ———————————————————————— > >
Subject: > well-established physical laws) > From: > Thomas Widlar >
Date: > Thu, 31 Aug 2006 10:05:14 -0500 > To: > EMyrone] at [ > > To: > EMyrone] at [ > CC: > rhodri.morgan] at [, annwvyn76] at [, > gemma.smith] at [, phil.o’connor] at [, > roger.evans] at [, ewehoe] at [, > john.hague] at [, chris.holley] at [, > garethjohnevans] at [, fdamador] at [, > sean] at [, dave] at [, HorstEck] at [, > rob] at [, kp.phys] at [ > > > How does one establish a physical law well? Does the government > determine the laws of nature? Is that our problem, we haven’t > talked to the right government official? > >,,1861128,00.html > > Thursday August 31, 2006 > > The Guardian > > How can you patent a perpetual motion machine? > > Allegedly, by patenting different parts of it – because patent offices > do not accept claims for perpetual motion machines. Of course, nobody > has ever built one, otherwise we’d all be riding around in electric > cars powered by infinite supplies of electricity. > > The UK Patent Office notes that you cannot get a patent on “articles > or processes alleged to operate in a manner clearly contrary to > well-established physical laws” as they are “regarded as not having > industrial application”. Any machine that generates more energy than > it consumes is either a nuclear reactor or breaches the second law of > thermodynamics. > > But the Irish company Steorn, which has brought attention to itself by > claiming to have a magnet-driven machine that will generate more > energy than is put into it (and has taken out an expensive advert in > The Economist rather than publishing a scientific paper or even > building a few prototypes) says it will get around the restriction on > patenting its invention by splitting it into components and patenting > those. Then, by assembling them, it will have a patented energy > generator. > > The machine, though, isn’t a reactor. Quite apart from the question of > whether Steorn has invalidated its own attempts to get any sort of > patent by showing it off to the Guardian (These men think they’re > about to change the world, August 25), there is the knotty question of > whether it can sneak the pieces past the patent examiners’ eyes to be > assembled, with patent protection, to produce a machine that squares > the circle of producing energy for free while also being under patent. > > Confusingly, the company’s website ( ) says > that the design of the “free energy” generator is “patent pending”, > but the World International Property Organisation (WIPO) publication > WO 2006/035419 indicates that the patent on a “low energy magnetic > actuator” has only been applied for, not granted by the US Patent > Office – and a search of the USPTO database confirms that. > > Meanwhile, plenty of scientists appear to be lining up to put Steorn’s > claims to the test. The company claims that more than 3,000 have > already applied to put its “free energy” device through rigorous > testing: it has set a closing date of September 8, after which 12 will > be invited to test the equipment. “The results will then be published > worldwide,” Steorn says, at which point either the doubters will be > left with a lot of egg on their face, or – on the balance of history, > almost certainly – the eager inventors at Steorn will. > > Still, assuming that the USPTO awards the patent, Steorn will at least > be able to tout a low energy magnetic actuator to anyone who wants > one. It’s not free energy – but if you’re trying to patent a perpetual > motion machine, you clearly weren’t about to give the energy away for > free anyway. > >

I see, agreed! Science and bureaucracy don’t mix, like oil and water.

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