The discussion on LENR Forum that I covered yesterday fell into a series of Planet Rossi trolls doing what PR trolls do: repeat the same stuff over and over, hoping it will stick. Sometimes, eventually, that stuff stands because nobody bothers to answer it Yet Again. Victory! Proven! Nobody Could Answer! So, bored by this and the constant temptation to point out how Stupid it all is, I noticed mention by a concern troll of a Marianne Macy article that I had not read. And that led to more articles, some I had not noticed before, some that I had, and some that I read now with new understanding. Join me in a ride through Reality, it’s fun.
Marianne Macy’s article, “Reporting a Lawsuit in LENR,” (linked again) is the report of an eyewitness to much, and who has also spent years investigating the Field. Macy knows Rossi reasonably well, having spent much time with him, supporting him. She also interviewed Darden for Infinite Energy. This story is full of personal details, and … I spoke with Marianne last year and the article reveals some of what I heard from her that was not to be repeated, and, even more, there are facts or intentions about other work covered there that I had heard from others, sometimes with a request for confidentiality. To understand the Rossi/Industrial Heat story, reading eyewitness accounts takes us far beyond what we can derive from less direct evidence, inference, and expectations. I can do nothing better here than to suggest reading Macy with care. I may write commentary on the article, but not today. This is golden, written with obvious and deep feeling.
One touch from it:
On April 5, Andrea Rossi announced that he was suing Industrial Heat for $89 million. He released the news, papers and supporting documents online. The claims in his lawsuit included theft of intellectual property, patent infringement, and fraud.
An analysis of the case from Patent Lawyer David French is here.
Just as emotion was not new to the cold fusion field, legal battles were not new to the field. There are ongoing legal battles that date to the 1990s. But this was a different scale. The situation of an $89 million dollar lawsuit between the field’s highest profile, highest paid inventor and his environmentally-inclined investors wasn’t akin to the adage of having an elephant in the room. It was like having an elephant with projectile diarrhea who had snorted a kilo of cocaine after mating with Donald Trump in the room. This was a worst case scenario, a four star sriracha-saturated shit storm that could distinctly prove unhelpful to the LENR world’s public profile at the time of its greatest collective acceleration.
For myself, the perpetual struggle for objective reporting was competing with shock. I’d hoped for the success of Rossi’s technology for so long and been so glad that someone like Darden had come along to support it.
The David French interview is worth reading. I was familiar with it and have extensively discussed the case with him. French goes into a great deal of detail about patent issues, but some hints at where he goes with this:
[about the Rossi complaint:] These allegations are so ill-conceived that it’s almost an embarrassment to criticize them.
He still wants his $89 million dollars but he’s also asking for an Order that Industrial Heat not make use of the information that he has provided to them. This is inconsistent. If they pay, then they are entitled to have the full benefit of all his Know-how. In fact Industrial Heat may have acquired the right to use all this know-how when they paid the $10,000,000.
This Complaint is so flawed that we might see Court Motions to have it clarified before the defendants file their Answers.
After David wrote this, IH file a Motion to Dismiss, and four out of the eight Counts in the Rossi Complaint were dismissed. Others, including the crucial Count I, held on by a thread. That thread is fraying, and Rossi may be vulnerable, soon, when Discovery is complete, to a Motion for Summary Judgment, before trial.
As for the merits of the case I see this basically as a collection action: “Pay us our $89 million dollars!” On the question of where Justice lies, I prefer to await the version of the facts according to the Defendants, as well as any Reply by the Plaintiffs. Ultimately I would like to reserve judgment until all the evidence has been presented at trial. I believe in: Audi alteram partem (hear the other side’s point of view).
Spoken like the lawyer he is. I’m a writer, not a lawyer, and I make predictions. I can be — and have been — “wrong,” on some occasions. Sometimes it was a true error, sometimes, I am predicting possibilities, considering something likely. That the outcome is different does not make that “wrong.” If I toss a coin eight times, I might predict that it will not come out eight “tails” in a row. If it does, was I “wrong”? We rely on probabilities all the time, and routinely betting against what is likely, unless the odds given are fair, is a formula for failure.
The Lugano critique shows how that test was received by an expert at the time. After quoting the report summary, my emphasis.
All well and good. Is this confidence justified by the words in the report? Is there evidence of excess heat? My impression is “Yes” (but see below). Is this evidence unambiguous? Not as presented. Is there evidence of nuclear transformation? Yes, very clearly, but questions remain to be answered (or, in some cases, asked). Do the heat and nuclear production correlate quantitatively? Yes, possibly. Is the report perfect? No, no report is perfect, but this one is imperfect in little ways and large. There is curious inattention to detail—surprising for a document as delayed, anticipated and important as this. When asked to provide a review (sight unseen) I agreed; this is important. But I also realized that unless the report was perfect in every detail, whatever I wrote would annoy somebody. Here goes.
In the Norway report, McKubre asks Hanno Essen, one of the Lugano authors, what he thought of his review.
… and he said, “I thought it was fair.” I thought, “You can’t do better than that”…