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The Apple Computer Company recently patented the concept of a foldable smart phone. While this seems innocuous, it is a sign of the corruption of Washington, DC — all the way to the US Patent and Trademark Office, USPTO — that a company like Apple can patent something this lame but I cannot patent something that could make a real difference; it speaks of corruption.

Both of my grandfathers and one uncle were patent holders in their lifetimes, and I read patents as a kid.  My first project was an optical system that I took to the leading prototype builder in Hollywood, Irving Jacobson, who advised me not to patent, but keep it secret and use it to make better products saying, “The studios will rip it off and you’ll spend all your life and money in court.”  I took his advice, and as a result, my filmstrip products were the best in the business. But the time came when I had other ideas I could not exploit that way. They were too big.

A friend spent $70,000 getting a patent on an improved battery that seemed simple, but on reading the lawyer-prepared application, I saw the lawyer complicated everything so the patent would be a cash cow for his firm.  The flaw in a lawyer prepared patent is like building a house with many French doors:  Charming, but the burglars love it.

In the 70’s, as a result of my interest in the atmosphere and learning the role of water vapor, I had a flash one-day while driving.  I knew the engine was only 28% efficient in terms of turning fuel into kinetic energy.  72% of it went into the radiator and exhaust pipe.  I saw it in a flash!

Only three percent of the gas molecules in the combustion chamber were capable of absorbing the heat of combustion to expand gases in the cylinder to drive the piston.  The American Association of Automotive Engineers database revealed no one had this idea! A study of several hundred patents showed inventors, not lawyers, prepared 25% of them. All inventor-written applications were perfect in language, concept and science where every one done by law firms was flawed, some deeply.  Where a patent application is usually only ten or 15 pages, why not learn their writing style, save $70,000, and have a better document?  See it at: (ICER Patent Application)

My application was not granted, and I knew it was not because of my writing, as I had a granted patent.  There were several objections, including that I had not used the word “steps” in my Claims section. I did a search of all patents for “steps” and found 80% had not used “steps.”  Getting that lifted took three letters, as the Examiner jacked me around like a piece of flotsam.  He would not dare do that to a firm of attorneys.

Patent examiners do not like inventor prepared patents, as they have more professional responsibility for them than if anything is found in error.  The truth of the matter is that all are done by clerks and not a guy who passed the bar exam, USPTO and pedigree tests.  But, there is more at work:

Patent applications from major corporations making political contributions go through the USPTO like a cat on a bird while mine take months to years, but there is more to the story.

In the beginning of the USPTO, the first person to file an application at the patent office got it.  In 1946 they changed to “the first to invent” which was a full employment scheme for the patent attorneys.  Would be “inventors” showed up with high school notebook pencil drawings and with pricey representation were grabbing patents from real inventors.  Some from big corporations!

A few years ago they switched back to “…the first to file” and left some language in the law that broadens that to filings that did not make it in the first application.  The trick is to file and fail on a minor technicality as patent protection is only 20 years but a failed filing is forever.  When a big corporation files and succeeds, you let them know of your previous filing and tell them you want 1% of the gross business with access to the books and a 100% penalty for trickery, plus fees.  If they throw you out, go to their biggest competitor, but they won’t…

In the ICER case, the USPTO found a patent that bore great similarity to mine with the fatal flaw the inventor was ignorant of the chemistry of internal combustion and that the water injection has to be precisely measured and timed, as you will see in the application at: (ICER Patent Application)  That they would not respond to my arguments tells me they want a big corporation to present them a lawyer prepared application when an engineering department awakens to what is actually going on in such engines.

ICER increases the power output of existing engines by 300%, fully optimized, or reduces the size and weight of engines to 1/3rd their present size and increase fuel mileage similarly, but we will all have to wait until the USPTO is no longer corrupt.  Until then it will be patently Apple.


The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

Adrian Vance

Trained as a science teacher, with eight years classroom experience, he has been writing professionally since the age of 15. He was the youngest person to be published in Journal of the Illinois Academy of Science at 17 as a result of a paper he wrote suggesting a revision in the science teaching curriculum. Publication was accidental as his teacher headed the selection committee and his paper was sent to the printer in error. Nonetheless, it received positive response. It proposed teaching General Science, then Physics followed by Chemistry with Biology in the senior year given the then new molecular focus in Biology. During his college years he worked on the school newspaper, primarily as a photographer and did an occasional feature, some of which caused him to be called to the Dean's office. "You don't like the way we do things here?" was the usual opening remark followed by the expected suggestion. After his third year, exhausted and without direction, he left for one year, but returned, when Sputnik and Admiral Rickover's books documented a crisis in American education. He felt called to teach and completed a B.S. in Physical Science at Illinois State University with a major in chemistry, minor in biology, near minors physics and education. He did graduate work in both Illinois and California completing a California Life Diploma teaching credential in 1962. While teaching he saw many needs and opportunities in educational publishing so he wrote and produced educational materials, primarily filmstrips and sound recordings. He also wrote for photographic magazines as film work put him in touch with many photographic and production problems. He has 325 screen credits in educational, industrial film and filmstrip as a writer-producer. In 1976 he won the Learning Magazine “Best of the Year” award for his “You in the Universe” filmstrip series and the New York Film and Television Festival Silver Medal for “An Introduction to Cells” filmstrip series. For a partial database of Adrian’s publications please click on and you will see them listed by series title and publisher. Each series title included four to 30 filmstrips and all are not fully listed in this database. The grand total is over 800. Over that 30 years Mr. Vance also wrote other material: two books, published in New York: “UFO’s: The Eye and the Camera” for Barlenmir House and “Audiovisual Production” for Amphoto Books. He wrote and illustrated over 100 features and columns for photography magazines. He was a Founding Contributing Editor for Peterson's PhotoGraphic Magazine and the West Coast Editor of Popular Photography from 1974 to 1978, writing a monthly column for the magazine. As a result of underwater photography work he contributed to SKIN DIVER magazine in the 70's. His "Timing Waves to Enter The Sea" article, first appearing in SKIN DIVER, is now a chapter in a classified U.S. Navy Seals training manual. "UFO's, The Eye and the Camera" documents his "Two channel information theory for the analysis of events simultaneously seen and photographed." It is the first comparative analysis of vision and photography written with the idea of combining information from both sources into a single analysis that can be used scientifically and forensically. Mr. Vance is also credited with solving the mystery of how complete maps of Earth were drawn in antiquity and he rediscovered Captain Cook's secret method of locating Pacific islands so well their positions have only recently been improved. He is cited with discovering the method in the seventh edition of "The Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings," by Dr. Charles Hapgood and he later contributed to a definitive article on cartography in antiquity for The Smithsonian Magazine as they confirmed his method. On February 19, 1976 Mr. Vance got a “Certificate of Appreciation” award from the Los Angeles Police Department “in grateful recognition of his generosity in make available to officers of this Department the talents and training of his German Shepherd, Boris. The ready willingness of Mr. Adrian Vance to become involved and to make available his valuable dog in a potentially hazardous situation deserves the gratitude and approbation of the entire Los Angeles Police Department.” This incident was critical to the LAPD administration’s realization that trained dogs could be of value in police work and they are now employed by the LAPD. When the computer replaced film the school market audio-visual field he switched horses at full gallop and produced 460 computer educational disk systems for the Apple II computer over 15 years. During that time he became a professional broadcaster in the 90's to promote the State Water bond issue in Santa Barbara, California as he felt it was critical for the town. He was publicly credited for having been one of the top ten reasons the measure passed thanks to his book “Drought in Paradise” and radio work. The collapse of his software business when Apple Computer discontinued the "II" machine line in 1995 crystallized the failure of his second marriage. With no clear direction in the school market supplemental materials field he sought a career in broadcasting in Las Vegas, Nevada doing shows on both KDWN and KXNT. This was unsatisfying due to the "star" economics of commercial radio where a few performers make millions and everyone else starves. Mr. Vance has also been a day trader, strategist, system developer and author on the equities markets and trading. He now trades stock, land and develops residential property. His website and trading information service, "The Stock Surfer" was a leading Internet service for seven years. He has been developing “The Young Americans” series of Young Adult novels promoting conservative values as well as his personal memoir, “A Long Way From Normal.” You can buy Adrian Vance’ books or downloads at December 21, 2010 he was awarded US. Patent 7,855,061 for his “Fuel Farm” that makes a gasoline equivalent 100 Octane fuel, butanol, from CO2, water and sunlight with algae and bacteria. You can see the full disclosure websites regarding his inventions at: and -30-


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