To include production of hydrocarbons in title of this application is over-reaching. Where is the disclosure to support its inclusion?

Shouldn't there be a way to sanction those who pollute the patent system like this?

Are there no teeth in the filing requirements to keep down specious claims?

1 Answer 1


The title is not part of the claims. In order to determine the scope of the claims, the best place to start is with the Independent Claims:

Claim 1. A method for treatment of seawater comprising the step of subjecting the seawater to an ion exchange reaction to exchange H+ ions for Na+ ions in the seawater under conditions sufficient to lower a pH of the seawater to less than about 6.5.

Claim 13. An electrolytic process for producing carbon dioxide and hydrogen gas from seawater comprising:

  • feeding a liquid anolyte into an anode compartment to generate hydrogen ions;

  • feeding a liquid catholyte substantially free of hardness ions into a cathode compartment, wherein the central compartment is separated from the anode and cathode compartments by cation exchange membranes;

  • feeding seawater into the central compartment;

  • acidifying the seawater by exchanging the hydrogen ions for sodium ions therein to produce an acidified seawater effluent from the central compartment;

  • reacting the sodium ions with hydroxyl ions in the cathode compartment to produce an effluent comprising sodium hydroxide and hydrogen gas;

  • reacting carbonate and bicarbonate ions in the acidified seawater with the hydrogen ions to produce carbon dioxide;

  • and removing the carbon dioxide from the acidified seawater and removing the hydrogen gas from the cathode compartment effluent.

Claim 32. A process for treating seawater in an electrolytic reactor to produce carbon dioxide gas and hydrogen gas comprising:

  • electrolytically generating hydrogen ions from water in an anode compartment;

  • exchanging sodium ions in the seawater with the hydrogen ions in an amount effective to reduce a pH of the seawater to less than 6.5, wherein exchanging the odium ions in the seawater with the hydrogen ions forms carbon dioxide gas;

  • electrolytically generating hydroxyl ions and hydrogen gas from water in a cathode compartment;

  • and forming sodium hydroxide from the hydroxyl ions and the sodium ions.

Keep in mind that these claims are part of a Patent Application and are not yet granted. They are a starting point for negotiating novel and non-obvious claims of appropriate scope with the USPTO (and in this case, WIPO).

If you are not satisfied with the scope of these claims and you feel that Prior Art exists that covers these claims, you can revise your question and add the prior-art-request tag, or submit your own list of Prior Art directly to the USPTO.

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