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PTO Requests Working Model of Warp Drive 277

aborchers writes "According to Patently-O: Patent Law Blog, the PTO has requested a working model of a Warp Drive for which a patent was recently applied. From the article, "Among other rejections, the Examiner has asserted a rejection under 35 U.S.C. 101 for lack of utility -- finding that the invention is inoperable." At least one examiner is paying attention!"
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PTO Requests Working Model of Warp Drive

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  • by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <barbara.hudson@b ... u d s o n . c om> on Sunday February 19, 2006 @12:08PM (#14754789) Journal
    I was going to say the same thing, but it doesn't matter.

    The warp drive will not be used down on earth, and will probably not even be constructed planetside (and if it is, it is more likely to be built in Chana than the US anyways), so it will be outside the USPTOs jurisdiction.

  • by SEWilco ( 27983 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @01:16PM (#14755052) Journal
    This is the same way Art Bell kept mechanical kooks off his radio show. Anyone who claims to have a perpetual motion machine design is told to send a model. When he gets a toy which runs forever then he'll gladly discuss it.
  • by Alien54 ( 180860 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @03:59PM (#14755913) Journal
    You're confusing this real warp drive with fictional hyperspace and warp drives. Assuming this one is real; this at least is a real design even if it does not work.

    Of course, it a cobbling together of parts in an imagined configuration, borrowed for a well known fictional source, without having actually invented any of the needed sub components, except for the usual nuts, bolts, screws, etc. But not really. There is not real confusion, as the concerns from fiction might be based in actual possible Very Bad Side Effects(tm), among other things.

    • Interaction of drive fields with atmospheric particles may produce wierd radiation, among other things. What happens when these are manipulated by a drive designed to move heavy objects at trans-light speed? Can you say Enviromental impact statement? Significant numbers of these acting in atmosphere might be enough to incrementally remove atmosphere from a planet (by acceleration of atmospheric particals past escape velocity). This would be a Bad Thing(tm). Like hitting your head with a hammer, this is not something you want to do on a repeated basis.
    • Relativistic effects tend to show up only when you are moving fater than one half the speed of light (rough estimate) Maybe the time-space warpage needed to produce thrust can only be achieved at relativistic speeds. Similar to a ram jet, it would need a booster to get to the appropriate speeds for start up conditions. This concern is Subject to Test(tm), and, of course, would be hard to achieve in earth orbit, or from a standing start at Area 51.

    I could go on, but you get the idea. Of course, Arthur C Clarke is credited with the invention of the Communications Satellite, based on a detailed technical destricption he wrote in a magazine, back in 1947. (If I recall correctly)
  • PatentDot ??? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by martyb ( 196687 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @05:29PM (#14756447)

    How about a Slashdot for Patents???? Given the knowledge and interest I've seen displayed here, and the fact that the SlashCode is available, I really think this could work!

    Features: Here's a rough, back of the envelope, sketch of how it could work:

    1. Getting patents A demon could periodically check the USPTO site, and create an article for each new patent application it finds.

    2. Categorizating Patents would be categorized into different "departments". Hmmm, could a Bayesian filter come up with a short list of recommendations? These could be attached to the article as options for "High-Karma" users to select (or offer something better). As soon as some threshhold (say 10 votes) is reached, the article is moved from the NEW department to the selected department.

    3. Moderating This could procede as it does here on slashdot, but the comments' focus could be to examine the patents:

      • Provide references to PRIOR ART.
      • Discuss the [IM]POSSIBILITY of the application.
      • And, of course, HUMOR would be encouraged!

    Benefits Offhand, I see this would:

    • provide a venue for those who are proficient in the area to comment
    • help the beleagured patent office, and
    • inform readers as to the workings of the PTO.

    What have I missed? I know there has to be SOMEthing! Thoughts? Ideas?

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