Bleeding Edge

by Mike Masnick




Patent Office Grants Patent On Anti-Gravity Device

from the physics-is-for-pansies dept

It's absolutely true that you can get a patent on a technology or concept that you haven't built yourself. While many of us find this to be extremely problematic, plenty of patent trolls love the concept, because it lets them lock up all sorts of ideas. Then later, when someone else actually builds it, they can trot out the patent and squeeze the real innovator for money. However, should you be allowed to patent ideas that, not only haven't been built, but go against the laws of physics? Apparently you can. The US Patent Office has handed out a patent for an anti-gravity device. While it's true that there are some who believe that anti-gravity devices are possible, it would seem like a working model would be a fairly important part of the process before you hand out a patent like this to someone. What's next, a patent on x-ray vision or faster than light travel?

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  • identicon
    Bret McDanel, 9 Nov 2005 @ 7:00pm

    Antigravity

    Podelenkov used a spinning superconductor years ago, and alledgly his experiment was duplicated by at least 2 universities. I havent witnessed this but did read about it over 5 years ago. NASA was even trying to do this but they changed the recipie and it failed, they were alledgly retrying using exactly what his report said to do ...

    It was only a 2% reduction, and some of what was claimed I do not believe (such as the field extends forever rather than gets weaker at distances) but meh I havent researched it anywhere near enough to comment either way.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    patrick, 9 Nov 2005 @ 9:07pm

    this sounds like a bogus story

    This sounds like someone has been had on this story. I can find nothing about it on Nature's website and there is no patent number given. If you are going to post about this or that patent, give the number.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Newob, 9 Nov 2005 @ 10:08pm

    FTL

    Nope, too much prior art for faster than light travel, or that is, there will be too much prior art ... er ... retroactively.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Robert Rosenberg, 10 Nov 2005 @ 11:38am

      Re: FTL

      The "invention" where there will be lots of "prior art ... er ... retroactively" is Time Travel. FTL does not necessarily involve going back in time - only getting somewhere sooner than a light beam would. You still arrive AFTER you started the trip.
      Now as to the question of if Time Travel is possible, check out the Science Fact article "The Theory and Practice of Time Travel" by Larry Niven.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Chrismith, 10 Nov 2005 @ 4:24pm

        Re: FTL

        Try reading A Brief History of Time when you get a chance. Faster-than-light travel and time travel are, for our immediate purposes, the same thing,

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Stephan Kinsella, 10 Nov 2005 @ 7:14am

    Patents on exceeding speed of light

    The idea of requiring a working model makes no sense. This is not the problem with patent law and would not solve anything. As for patents re speeds exceeding lightspeed--see Pat. No. 6,025,810: Hyper-Light-Speed Antenna (poking hole in another “dimension” to transmit RFwaves at faster-than-light speed, incidentally accelerating plantgrowth), listed here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 10 Nov 2005 @ 9:28am

      Re: Patents on exceeding speed of light

      Why does not showing a working model make perfect sense?

      Shouldn't showing something as actually possible make sense as a pre-req before granting a long term exclusive monopoly?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Nov 2005 @ 10:04am

        Re: Patents on exceeding speed of light

        Yeah, you'd think it would Mike...

        I mean what will something like this really do?

        I'll tell you. It will make all of the other millions of possible inventors of anti-gravity decide it's not worth their time because even if they do figure it out, they will be violating the patent by someone else.

        What this does is significantly reduce the total number of people working on this research. Which in turn, means actually figuring out anti-gravity will take many many many years longer.

        Just like with open source, the more people you have working on something openly, the quicker it will be done. It will also be without flaws much sooner.

        Fix the patent system so EVERYTHING doesn't end up like NASA; taking 50 years to accomplish ANYTHING AT ALL.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        jayrtfm, 10 Nov 2005 @ 9:00pm

        Re: Patents on exceeding speed of light

        >>"Why does not showing a working model make perfect sense?"

        I've got a really innovative improvement to the neutron bomb. Would you like to try my working model before I patent it?

        seriously, there's many inventions where the paper engineering is a valid proof of the concept (the math checks out, no new physics, etc) but it's not practical to build a meaningful working model.

        A good example of this is the statite, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statite

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Drewsky, 10 Nov 2005 @ 7:58am

    Patents

    Maybe a bunch of good hearted lawyers (if they exist) and scientists could get together and patent every obvious and interesting idea and then donate them to the public for free use. Sort of like reverse patent trolling. Of course that might not be good for innovation either, but at least you wouldn't get sued over something as simple as "1 click purchases" or as revolutionary as an anti gravity device. I guess I'm a dreamer...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ko, 16 Nov 2005 @ 8:44am

    Will it work?

    It may sound rediculous but there are theories that gravity may be related to magnetism in some way and that rotating magnetic fields may counteract gravity. Here is a link to something interesting :

    http://www.enterprisemission.com/antigrav.html

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    adrew cman, 15 Oct 2008 @ 6:05am

    ???

    I DONT THINK THIS IS RIGHT I AM GOING TO SHUT DOWN THIS WEBSITE AND ARREST ANYONE WHO IS READING THIS NOW!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bobbo33, 8 Apr 2010 @ 10:08am

    Time travel vs. patent law

    Whereas, faster-than-light travel and time-travel equivalent (as demonstrated in "A Brief History of Time"), and;

    Whereas, patents are granted on a "first to invent" basis;

    Therefore, faster-than-light travel (and time-travel variants thereof) are not eligible for patent protection, due to prior art that may be created at some point in the future.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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