Fusion Message Board

In this space, visitors are invited to post any comments, questions, or skeptical observations about Philo T. Farnsworth's contributions to the field of Nuclear Fusion research.

Date: Jan 09, 09:07 am
Poster: Richard Hull

On Jan 09, 09:07 am, Richard Hull wrote:

>Richard Hull writes:
>"The patents lapsed without ITT ever using or selling one device based on them. "
>If the patents have lapsed, where does that leave "Fusor Technology" in general? Is it in the public domain now? My understanding is that the last (?) Fusor patent was incomplete (confirmed by Bert Pool). So, is there some aspect of the technology which could still be patented
separately? I'm not well versed on the background and issues regarding the patents, any light you can shed on the subject will be helpful.


Patents allow the patentor 17 years to develop and market a product without interference. After that period they fall to the public domain and it is a free for all. This would have made Farnsworths/ITT last patent (1968) public property in 1985. Extensions can be granted by the patent office if applied for with cause. I doubt if ITT followed up or could have gotten one even if they wanted.

This leaves fusor technology as a wide open field with the basic system open and free to all. Only specialized widgets and add ons unrelated to the device in general can be patented.

Patents are currently pretty much a joke. A private patentor has little chance against big corportaions or the Japanese. Massive efforts are expended boxing in a patentor who is trying to get royalties from big corporations. They are slowly squeezed out. Few patents (probably less than .5%) are ever marketed or even marketable, especially by the private individual. Most cover processes or technical minutia and not devices. Many of the devices are neither practical nor cost effective from any reasonable marketing approach.

Patents rarely do anything except line the pockets of the patent attornies.

If for some bizarre reason a private person does hit on a gem. The big boys will hang into the litigation until they bleed you dry and
box the patent in with other related devices thus forcing you to sell at their price or your work won't ever make it to market in a useful way. It is all quite legal. The man with the up front money will win most every time.

Richard Hull