Rossi v Darden : Cold Fusion Trial

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Re: Rossi v Darden : Cold Fusion Trial

Post by Slartibartfast » Sat May 27, 2017 2:34 am

A regular nuclear power plant, or any power plant, uses fuel to produce energy (which is why it doesn't violate the law of conservation of energy), namely little bits of matter that get converted into energy. The question is, what was promised (and what was delivered on) vis-a-vis the output of the reactor and what, if any, fuel it required. If it didn't require fuel then there are two options: there is something in the reactors that is being used up and will eventually render them inert or it's all a scam.

In any case it seems that something is definitely hinky, although it isn't yet clear exactly what. Should be an interesting trial.
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Re: Rossi v Darden : Cold Fusion Trial

Post by Notorial Dissent » Sat May 27, 2017 5:24 am

True. I am not inclined at this point to accept that the laws of physics just suddenly quit applying, which isn't to say there may not be something we're missing but at this juncture I don't see anything, so I am having to look at other options.

What I do see is that the decision tree on this is pretty narrow and limited.
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Re: Rossi v Darden : Cold Fusion Trial

Post by RoadScholar » Sat May 27, 2017 9:01 am

If Pons, Fleischman, Rossi et al had really discovered a fuel source that would "end the carbon age," wouldn't the major science institutions have leapt to investigate it? If there were any reproducible (or even theoretically promising) results, you'd think there'd be no stopping them.

And you can't separate the trial from the science, because finding of fact.
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Re: Rossi v Darden : Cold Fusion Trial

Post by Estiveo » Sat May 27, 2017 9:08 am

Pfft. This is just being suppressed by the oil industry. Same as they suppressed the engine that runs on water and the perpetual motion machine.
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Re: Rossi v Darden : Cold Fusion Trial

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer » Sat May 27, 2017 9:36 am

tjh wrote:I'm not sure how a claim/counter-claim trail goes. For sure the judge is keeping them together, not splitting them.

<http://www.businesslawbasics.com/chapte ... civil-case> doesn't explain.

I'm guessing

A = Rossi (and third-party)
B = Darden/IH
C = 3rd Party


A opening
B opening

A claims ... you owe me $90M x 3
B defense
[A rebuttal]

[ Is there a mini-closing here ? ]

B counter-claims .. it's a scam! We're suing for fraud!
A defense
C defense
[ B rebuttal ]

A closing
B closing
C Closing
This is basically correct.
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Re: Rossi v Darden : Cold Fusion Trial

Post by tjh » Sat May 27, 2017 11:44 am

Thanks ... is there a mini-closing in the middle, though?

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Re: Rossi v Darden : Cold Fusion Trial

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer » Sat May 27, 2017 12:23 pm

tjh wrote:Thanks ... is there a mini-closing in the middle, though?
No. There usually is a motion to dismiss the plaintiff's case stating there is not enough evidence for the case to go to the jury.
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Re: Rossi v Darden : Cold Fusion Trial

Post by Sam the Centipede » Sun May 28, 2017 1:55 pm

RoadScholar wrote:If Pons, Fleischman, Rossi et al had really discovered a fuel source that would "end the carbon age," wouldn't the major science institutions have leapt to investigate it? If there were any reproducible (or even theoretically promising) results, you'd think there'd be no stopping them.

And you can't separate the trial from the science, because finding of fact.
Pons and Fleishmann were respected scientists so the major science institutions did investigate their work and failed to produce results to confirm that particular cold fusion hypothesis. Material science progresses apace and each year novel materials are produced with wacky structures and crazy properties. That suggests that maybe, maybe, maybe some form of cold fusion might be possible some day.

So cold fusion is in a different category from free energy devices founded on a perpetual motion principle, as we know that the latter are impossible, very impossible ... if one can qualify impossible in that way!

So all perpetual motion machines are crackpot ideas. Some cold fusion ideas might not be crackpot ideas.

But I feel that any cold fusion ideas that do not emanate from a very strong scientific research institution can be assumed to be crackpot until proved otherwise. Additionally, whenever lawyers or legal threats get involved in medicine or science it strongly suggests that one might be dealing with quack medicine or pseudo-science.

I shall be interested to see how this unfolds. :think: If this technology works, I guess I won't need to buy a Steorn Orbo! :lol:

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Re: Rossi v Darden : Cold Fusion Trial

Post by RTH10260 » Sun May 28, 2017 3:00 pm

Sam the Centipede wrote: :snippity:
I shall be interested to see how this unfolds. :think: If this technology works,I guess I won't need to buy a Steorn Orbo! :lol:
Too late, they liquidated by end of last year ;)

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Re: Rossi v Darden : Cold Fusion Trial

Post by Slartibartfast » Sun May 28, 2017 3:27 pm

RoadScholar wrote:If Pons, Fleischman, Rossi et al had really discovered a fuel source that would "end the carbon age," wouldn't the major science institutions have leapt to investigate it? If there were any reproducible (or even theoretically promising) results, you'd think there'd be no stopping them.

And you can't separate the trial from the science, because finding of fact.
There is a big difference between a scientific finding and a commercialized technology based on that innovation. If a clearly commercially viable effect had been demonstrated, then yes, institutions and industry would have leapt to investigate it, but with just a tentative result the inventor would have to convince others of its value (which he convinced them was worth $11.5 million but couldn't manage to convince them it was worth an additional $89 million).

As for the trial, I don't think it really has anything to do with the science, although one or both sides may try to make it about the science, but rather contract law. The contract specified standards that the GPT either met or didn't meet. The intent may have been to set up a scientific standard for validating the technology, but the details of what they agreed to is what will be legally binding.
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Re: Rossi v Darden : Cold Fusion Trial

Post by Notorial Dissent » Sun May 28, 2017 3:32 pm

My feeling is that if they get in to the science they'll lose the jury.
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Re: Rossi v Darden : Cold Fusion Trial

Post by Slartibartfast » Sun May 28, 2017 3:41 pm

Notorial Dissent wrote:My feeling is that if they get in to the science they'll lose the jury.
Yes but if either side believes that their arguments have scientific merit (especially the inventor), they may feel it necessary to argue those merits even if that isn't the best case they could put on. In the end, I guess I wouldn't be surprised if the jury goes for the side who presents their science in a more intuitive and sympathetic way.
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Re: Rossi v Darden : Cold Fusion Trial

Post by Notorial Dissent » Sun May 28, 2017 5:02 pm

That is quite true, and in fact I expect one or both of them to try the science in court. I am just saying that it is a VERY VERY BAD idea. The science isn't on trial, but whether the contracts and conditions have been complied is. If they wander off from there they run the risk of losing the jury.
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Re: Rossi v Darden : Cold Fusion Trial

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer » Sun May 28, 2017 5:05 pm

tjh read the proposed stipulated facts from each side. Was the science part of those facts? If so, what part?
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Re: Rossi v Darden : Cold Fusion Trial

Post by rpenner » Sun May 28, 2017 6:11 pm

Slartibartfast wrote:As for the trial, I don't think it really has anything to do with the science, although one or both sides may try to make it about the science, but rather contract law. The contract specified standards that the GPT either met or didn't meet. The intent may have been to set up a scientific standard for validating the technology, but the details of what they agreed to is what will be legally binding.
Industrial Heat is trying to claw back the 11.5 million because of breaches of contract including disclosure of information sufficient to build an E-Cat and breaches of confidentiality which make it look like the E-Cat was being sold on the basis of Industrial Heat's "acceptance" of Rossi's claims.


http://coldfusioncommunity.net/wp-conte ... answer.pdf

Paragraphs 7-9 of Counter Complaint on pages 29-30 describe a scheme of fraud, not of science or power generation.
Paragraphs 50-60 of Counter Complaint on pages 38-41 describe the scientific trappings about the handover of 10 million dollars for the IP of the E-Cat. Some suspicious things happened.
In paragraph 66, Rossi is quoted admitting scientific fraud to escape contractual requirements.
Paragraphs 69-92 (pages 44-53) discuss a fraudulent scheme for Rossi to be his own independent consumer of output and not providing operational data.

Paragraphs 96 (page 53) flatly states there was no communicated secret sauce to build even a weakly functioning E-Cat. It's not technology, it's not art, it's not science. Nothing to see here.
Paragraphs 97-99 on the next page fill in the logic for that to be a breach of contract.

http://coldfusioncommunity.net/wp-conte ... lation.pdf
Undisputed fact 104: “J.M. Products has not taken any measures to obtain an alternative source of steam power since the 1 MW Plant was taken out of operation.”
Disputed Fact 264: “Whether from the time Rossi first raised the “customer” with IH to the time the Term Sheet was executed, J.M. Products did not have a chemical manufacturing process in place with a need for the steam to be produced by the 1 MW Plant, or any operations at all.”
How can that be under dispute if it wasn't a sham? You can't operated a chemical process as a going concern for 1 year without leaving evidence.

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Re: Rossi v Darden : Cold Fusion Trial

Post by tjh » Sun May 28, 2017 7:20 pm

I'm not going to defend my "belief" in CF here.

(Hmmm ... maybe I'll try and find ONE paper that helped convince me.
Historical note : Cold Fusion was "debunked" by four key papers... none of which met the now-known four enabling criteria for success. It then became a career-killer : senior technical person demoted to mailroom, lab funding withdrawn ...)

But I agree that if they get too deep into the science they'll "lose" the jury (ie random result depending on what each juror understood/misunderstood).

Rossi's responses are kinda honest : yeah, I was running the "fake" customer side. But IH had diddled for years about finding a test site.

IH is a bit bizarre : Cold Fusion is IMPOSSIBLE, Rossi's a known scammer .... so we invested $100M in it!

Also splitting legal hairs : it only ran for 23 1/2 hours so the results aren't valid.

They now claim that the $89M payment requires

a) A Successful Guaranteed Performance Test GPT (with NO indication how THAT is CHIEVED)

AND

b) Sign-off by the ERV (Engineer Responsible for Validation -- Penon)

Kind of like an oxford-comma (discussed elsewhere!)

Everyone's common-sense understanding of the contract is that the signature of the ERV determines whether the GPT was successful or not.

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Re: Rossi v Darden : Cold Fusion Trial

Post by Abd » Fri Jun 16, 2017 9:05 am

RoadScholar wrote:Please forgive me if I deeply doubt the existence of Cold Fusion until it is reproduced at a place like Stanford, CalTech or MIT.
As my first post attempt here, I wrote a detailed answer to this, lost by the forum software when it demanded I log in -- but I'd already logged in before writing the response. The first point: so-called "cold fusion" -- which is a misleading name -- was, in fact, "reproduced at Stanford," if that includes SRI International, a major research organization, which was retained by the Electric Power Research Institute in 1989 to neutrally and carefully investigate "cold fusion," which it did, and ultimately confirmed the basic claims of anomalous heat in palladium deuteride, and the later correlation of this heat with helium production (which is strong evidence that the reaction is nuclear in nature).

That common opinion is otherwise is simply a reflection of an information cascade, it is oft-repeated that "nobody could confirm," which was true, more or less, in 1989, but which rapidly became untrue as more research was done, but by then, the originally-true commentary was repeated over and over and is still repeated. And this is a huge story of its own. Huizenga, the highly skeptical co-chair of the 1989 US DoE review of cold fusion, called this the "scientific fiasco of the century," and he was right. There were errors and Bad Science on all sides.

I do not intend to correct every error -- and errors are common in covering this topic, and the topic of the trial, on all sides -- but will happily answer questions here or on coldfusioncommunity.net.

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Re: Rossi v Darden : Cold Fusion Trial

Post by Foggy » Fri Jun 16, 2017 9:28 am

Abd wrote:As my first post attempt here, I wrote a detailed answer to this, lost by the forum software when it demanded I log in -- but I'd already logged in before writing the response.
Not sure what happened there, but I apologize, and welcome to Fogbow. Thanks for the information.
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Re: Rossi v Darden : Cold Fusion Trial

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer » Fri Jun 16, 2017 9:33 am

Hi, Abd! :wave: I am looking forward to more posts! This anticipated trial has learnt me a lot about cold fusion, but I refuse to take a pop quiz. :P
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Re: Rossi v Darden : Cold Fusion Trial

Post by ZekeB » Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:27 am

For a while we had that log out whenever you turned around problem in here. Remember? It made posting a biatch for me.

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Re: Rossi v Darden : Cold Fusion Trial

Post by noblepa » Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:16 am

I understand the lawyers here saying that this is simply a licensing or contract dispute and that the science is not on trial.

However, how can one separate the science from the contract, when the contract was apparently that Rossi would deliver a viable cold-fusion device? If the device were producing heat by some process other than nuclear fusion, cold or otherwise, it seems to me he would, indeed, be in breach. So the question of the validity of the science would seem to be crucial.

Also, nuclear fusion is, by definition, the joining of atoms of one or more elements to form atoms of a different element. If he started with containers filled with nickel and hydrogen, then, after the test, there should be some measurable amount of some other element(s), ignoring inevitable impurities in the original concoction. Physicists should be able to predict what that element would be, so it should be pretty easy to find, if its there. If there are no new elements found, then he may simply be employing an exothermic CHEMICAL reaction, rather than nuclear fusion.

It may or may not be germane to the contract questions, but there is also the issue of the AMOUNT of energy produced, even if it truly is from nuclear fusion. If it produces only a miniscule amount of excess energy, that can not be sold to make a profit, then it is not commercially viable.

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Re: Rossi v Darden : Cold Fusion Trial

Post by Sam the Centipede » Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:34 pm

noblepa wrote:It [the science] may or may not be germane to the contract questions, but there is also the issue of the AMOUNT of energy produced, even if it truly is from nuclear fusion. If it produces only a miniscule amount of excess energy, that can not be sold to make a profit, then it is not commercially viable.
Wasn't the small amount of energy a major factor in the problems with the original Pons-Fleischmann experiments? As I recall, they inferred the production of a very small amount of energy by doing a pile of calculations involving temperature measurements. That small number was the difference between two large numbers which made for a very ill-conditioned calculation.

When cold fusion can produce directly measurable energy I'll be interested; until then, I'm happy for people to work on it, but I'm skeptical about reports of success.

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Re: Rossi v Darden : Cold Fusion Trial

Post by Mikedunford » Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:50 pm

noblepa wrote:I understand the lawyers here saying that this is simply a licensing or contract dispute and that the science is not on trial.

However, how can one separate the science from the contract, when the contract was apparently that Rossi would deliver a viable cold-fusion device? If the device were producing heat by some process other than nuclear fusion, cold or otherwise, it seems to me he would, indeed, be in breach. So the question of the validity of the science would seem to be crucial.

Also, nuclear fusion is, by definition, the joining of atoms of one or more elements to form atoms of a different element. If he started with containers filled with nickel and hydrogen, then, after the test, there should be some measurable amount of some other element(s), ignoring inevitable impurities in the original concoction. Physicists should be able to predict what that element would be, so it should be pretty easy to find, if its there. If there are no new elements found, then he may simply be employing an exothermic CHEMICAL reaction, rather than nuclear fusion.

It may or may not be germane to the contract questions, but there is also the issue of the AMOUNT of energy produced, even if it truly is from nuclear fusion. If it produces only a miniscule amount of excess energy, that can not be sold to make a profit, then it is not commercially viable.
I haven't weighed in on the legal issues yet, and won't unless/until I get a chance to read the papers in some detail. (Which is very unlikely to happen in the next several weeks.) I'll also freely admit that my patent law knowledge could be getting blurred because it's not my primary area, but it is one where I've done the basic-level class for multiple jurisdictions. That said...

My recollection is that the validity of a patent is generally relevant in a patent licensing dispute, because if there is no valid patent, there is nothing to license. Whether or not the invention actually does what it says on the tin is generally relevant to validity, because a patent for thing that can't possibly do what it claims may be invalid for lack of utility.

So I do think that the science may be relevant. But this sounds like a strange arrangement of contracts, so I'd have to take a good long look to be sure.
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Re: Rossi v Darden : Cold Fusion Trial

Post by Abd » Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:56 pm

noblepa wrote:I understand the lawyers here saying that this is simply a licensing or contract dispute and that the science is not on trial.
Law360 called it a licensing dispute, which is not actually correct. It is a breach of contract dispute, at foundation, from the Complaint, with an improper fraud claim tacked on to raise the ante with triple damages (whereas the only real evidence for a fraud was nonpayment of the $89 million Rossi claimed had been earned, which is a well-known no-no as foundation for a fraud claim.
However, how can one separate the science from the contract, when the contract was apparently that Rossi would deliver a viable cold-fusion device?
That was not the contract, which is about an "energy conversion and production technology." "Fusion" was not mentioned. At one point, Rossi claimed that his device didn't use "cold fusion," but that's all semantics and largely irrelevant.
If the device were producing heat by some process other than nuclear fusion, cold or otherwise, it seems to me he would, indeed, be in breach. So the question of the validity of the science would seem to be crucial.
That might seems so, but the science of LENR (Low Energy Nuclear Reactions) is actually irrelevant to the case. Suppose the E-Cat works by catalyzing the release of zero-point energy or whatever other mechanism we might imagine or even can't imagine, the issue would be the energy release, not how it was created. To be sure, the Rossi claims are for much more energy than could be generated by the device and all available materials being the most powerful chemistry known. But that does not equal, in itself, "nuclear." It would not be necessary to know the energy source to have a valid test that would have properly triggered the $89 million payment, and the Agreement was designed that way. It is not a scientific issue, it's an engineering issue.
Also, nuclear fusion is, by definition, the joining of atoms of one or more elements to form atoms of a different element.
The joining of nuclei to form heavier nuclei, within the realm of low atomic weight elements (below iron, generally), where such fusion will release energy, instead of the reverse, above iron.
If he started with containers filled with nickel and hydrogen, then, after the test, there should be some measurable amount of some other element(s), ignoring inevitable impurities in the original concoction. Physicists should be able to predict what that element would be, so it should be pretty easy to find, if its there. If there are no new elements found, then he may simply be employing an exothermic CHEMICAL reaction, rather than nuclear fusion.
Yes, though predicting the shift is not so simple, without knowing the actual reaction mechanism. In one test, which was long claimed to be "independent," the so-called Lugano test, there was an analysis of the fuel before and after a month of claimed excess energy, showing a substantial isotopic shift, but without any clear correlation with the generated heat. Later, a fuel sample was rather mysteriously provided by Rossi to the same Swedish research group, and showed the same shift. However, if that was from the Doral reactor, as may have been implied, the "same shift" would be unlilkely if the device ran for a year rather than a month, as with Lugano. It's a mess. The common opinion among the knowledgeable is that the sample was salted by Rossi, which is consistent with the evidence. Long story!
It may or may not be germane to the contract questions, but there is also the issue of the AMOUNT of energy produced, even if it truly is from nuclear fusion. If it produces only a miniscule amount of excess energy, that can not be sold to make a profit, then it is not commercially viable.
The way the Agreement was written, "performance" was based on COP, which is a ratio of output power to input power. Full payment was due if the Expert Responsible for Validation certified that COP was greater than 6.0. It has not escaped notice that a milliwatt of power would be enough to satisfy that standard, if the input were, say, 150 microwatts. But this is not relevant to the actual circumstances of the case, where that "expert" reported a COP on the order of 50 with a megawatt claimed to be measured as output (or, sometimes, 750 KW). That high COP, of course, was necessary to have a megawatt of power, Rossi's ostensible nominal power output, with only normal commercial power available for input. Basically, you can't just draw 160 KW from your utility company without doing something drastic, this would not be available in the warehouse Rossi used.

To use a technical term, the Agreement sucked six ways till Sunday. It appears that Rossi wrote most of it. IH did not want a "megawatt test," which is very difficult, not simple as one might think (consider that input power requirement, and consider how the hell one dissipates a megawatt, which does become a major issue in the trial), and any normal engineer and commercial manufacturing operation would want to characterize smaller devices much more fully, rather than a complex assembly of a hundred small devices. The whole IH approach makes no sense if one imagines anything other than "give Rossi whatever he wants so that he reveals all necessary secrets." They appear to have done that, for some years, at high cost, with their reward being that Rossi sued them for fraud. Lovely.

A common argument among Rossi supporters is that Rossi would have to be crazy to sue them if it was all a fraud. My answer to that is, "Yes."

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Re: Rossi v Darden : Cold Fusion Trial

Post by Notorial Dissent » Fri Jun 16, 2017 4:04 pm

it would seem to be that this is first going to be about contracts, are there/were there valid ones, then were they violated/complied with, as that is what my understanding of the suit is. They are going to have to deal with that issue I would think before they even get to the patent and whether or not the process works. That being said, I think this is probably going to be an ugly EXPENSIVE suit. I think they'll have to prove the contract first before they go anywhere else.
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