Patents Require that the Invention be Specified in Detail — Including Materials

Materials change very fast from year to year in respect to what is available, their performance, their cost, and their strength, weight, and features.

It does not matter what you invent, if you can’t say what it’s made of, in adequate detail, the invention will be a bit vague and not well specified.

I am inventing a sea elevator to carry items from the surface to the seabed, or from the seabed to the surface. It does not sound like a chemical problem, but it is. All inventions require good awareness of modern materials science.

I was lucky to have studied Chemistry in Switzerland with a graduate of the French Ecole Polytechnique, who was very kind to let such a kid as me into the lab, and teach every aspect of chemistry in great detail with an emphasis on molecular bonds and long molecules.

To make an invention that is plainly better than all that has come before, one has to take full advantage of every improvement in artificial intelligence, materials science, and global RF systems. Drawing is the funnest part of inventing. Math is the hardest. And materials research is the most methodical, some would say tedious. But all of it has to be there to make a machine that works, is safe, is not harmful, and operates efficiently.

I am in my third month working on the Sea Elevator, and it is in its 11th draft. It takes me 40 drafts at least to make a Provisional Patent Application that is worthy to file and pay the fee for. So, end of March is my target date to have this one filed at USPTO, and I’m on track as of today.

The math is always up for grabs till the package is in the mail. It’s a worry. One worries that it may contain an error, or flaw, or something left out. So, I go back a re-check the math at least once a week. Making new charts and diagrams and tables to see how it should be presented, and to make absolutely sure it is right, right, right.

Not that it would matter in a Provisional that was otherwise excellent, but it matters to me — it’s a document I am putting in the mail with my name on it. Everything should be right.

My invention is 50 years ahead of its time, so the reason for the Provisional is not to beat some big corporation to the patent filing. Nobody reads Provisionals anyway. When a Utility Patent is filed the inventor does not need to refer to the Provisional or Incorporate it by Reference unless the inventor wants to claim back to the filing date of the Provisional, which I always do. It’s part of the “file wrapper” so anybody that pays for the full file wrapper after the patent is granted gets to see the Provisional. For me, it’s a matter of pride to get everything in the Provisional as perfect as reasonably achievable, including all the math, which makes my head hurt.

There has been some very welcome interest shown recently in my granted patent US10176661B2 “Method to Authenticate Value Documents or Items” by Robert Fenton Gary which you can buy on, or read for free on

Once the Sea Elevator is done as a Provisional, I will have to quit inventing new things for awhile, and go back and start drafting claims sets for the three Provisionals on which the clock is running right now. Claims sets are even harder and more worrisome than math. You only get a year after you file a Provisional, to either file a regular patent, or abandon your invention. I publish all my Provisionals (on Amazon), and on 07/17/2020 I will either have filed a utility patent on 62/921,955 (Method to Send Secure Signals Through Fiber Optic Cable), or I will be told that it has gone “abandoned”. I worked on that invention for two solid years. It uses some of the same technical principles that were used in my granted patent. So, tick tock, I have to start thinking about a claims set for that and have it ready to file by September 17th of this year.

I surely do wish that I had some help, some technical or money help, some sponsorship, or affiliation with a big corporation like Lockheed-Martin, or Chase Manhattan Bank. A one person office, a true micro-entity, can paint oneself into a corner in terms of filings, fees, costs and timing. That, I want to avoid. So three ideas are going into the “not feasible for now” drawer.

If you know a big person who works at a big corporation, maybe you could tell them about my work. Innovation is hard, especially if you are trying to do something new.

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