In reference to the patent: US20140183937

There's a thread discussing the claims of this patent on Experts Exchange


Since the claim involves a violation of Conservation of Energy, would this raise special scrutiny at the USPTO?

  • 1
    Hi Jim, welcome to Ask Patents! I'd appreciate if you could include some specifics from the discussion at that link here, just so any potential answerers don't have to read through the whole conversation. You're definitely welcome to include the link as a "read more," but including key information from it here really helps. Feb 22 '15 at 9:10
  • ..especially since the conversation requires an account to read.
    – JDMc
    Mar 5 '15 at 19:55

When an utility patent application is examined, there are four legal requirements that must be satisfied: statutory class, utility, novelty and unobviousness. In this case, there are concerns with the first two.

The prosecution status of a published applications can be checked using the USPTO Public PAIR service.

As of 2015-02-25, the examiner has issued a non-final rejection, rejecting claims 1-3 under 35 USC § 101 for not being directed to patent eligible subject matter and for lacking utility. In other words, the claims are directed towards an abstract idea and the disclosed invention is inoperative.

The examiner goes on to say "It is seemingly possible that applicant's test setup has calculated and measured an AC rms value that excludes the DC bias at the input, while the output AC rms has been calculated and measured to include the DC offset in the AC rms calculation, which, per the cited references, will show a larger value, and appear to create more output energy than input energy. It would thus appear that applicant's alleged discovery of the violation of the conservation of energy due to the presence of an offset is a result of improper use of measurement equipment and the improper use of calculation and measurement techniques."

In general, when an examiner questions the operability of an invention, it is up to the inventor to produce a logical, technical explanation on while it will work or bring the invention in for a demonstration.

It is important to note that this is just an application, not a granted patent. Perpetual motion machines and free energy generators can be filed as applications, but will likely get rejected upon examination. However, questionable inventions have slipped through in the past, so just because a patent is granted doesn't mean that the underlying invention will work.


Since the claim involves a violation of Conservation of Energy, would this raise special scrutiny at the USPTO?

There is no need for special scrutiny of such an application. All patent applications must describe inventions that are operable, otherwise they lack "utility" and are not of patentable merit.

In this case, what's interesting about this application is that the inventor explicitly states that the invention violates the principle of conservation of energy, both in the abstract and in the claims themselves. This makes it pretty much obligatory for the examiner to question the operability of the invention.

Note that getting more "output energy" than "input energy" (both in the form of electricity) from a blackbox apparatus, even indefinitely, is not guaranteed to be in violation of the principle of conservation of energy. The blackbox apparatus could instead be converting ambient thermal energy into electricity, in violation of the second law of thermodynamics. Thus, even if the applicant's measurements were accurate, it wouldn't itself be sufficient to prove that the principle of conservation of energy was violated.

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