flaming grapes revisited


One can not really predict where fundamental research will start or where it will finish.

In 2020 I thought  about the tale of flaming grapes.  Until a few years ago the intense heat and sparking produced by a pair of grapes in a microwave was a party trick.  It was for sure unusual and dramatic, but it was simply something that happened. It was unexplained.   

Enter fundamental research.  It found the grapes concentrated the microwave radiation to a point where “… all hell breaks loose”.  Now the story becomes interesting.  With the “mere scientific principle” known, the role of the various parameters can be explored and engineered for specific performance.  The inventing begins.  A bit of brainstorming quickly uncovered areas of possible IP.

jumping forward    

I was recently in contact with Prof. Slepkov.  He indicated the “great balls of fire” research is now a large component of his group’s work and the role of parameters, such as the ones I mentioned, are  being studied.  He also confirmed that IP is of interest.  It is indeed humbling that I could extrapolate in the right direction and make connections.  How is this possible after simply reading an article?  There is a broader message here.   

start at the technology

It is possible when you start at the technology.  If someone is “skilled in the art” i.e they are knowledgable in the given field of technology, they know what is relevant and important in that field.  From there one can look forward, extrapolate where a technology might lead and make connections.  Now, throw in patent experience and areas for and types of patents are readily hypothesized.

make connections

An interesting aspect of any technology is whether is has the ability to cross fields.  Can a technology in one field solve a problem in a different, possibly unrelated field?  This might go something like … “Hey, that algorithm would sure work well in that grid storage application!” or “This bit of semiconductor processing would make a difference in the manufacturability of an energy harvesting concept”.

Understanding the technology allows these jumps or connections.  This is a central aspect of IPmart.  The context around a patent i.e. technology is facilitated or made possible by intelligently looking around, by seeing what other problems might be solved by a technology.

Such connections are much more difficult, if not impossible, if you relay on an algorithm to collect and compare various datum from the patent database, especially if nothing has been published.  When you understand the technology you do not have to rely on others referring to a patent for it to become of interest.  The technology tells the story.

Technology is central to IPmart.  Understanding technology differentiates IPmart from those that see a patent as datapoint.  It differentiates IPmart from a searching system that can only look at existing documents.  The “data” viewpoint can not hypothesize where a technology might go.  It can not see the IP-potential of technology.