2.3 The Patent Battle

As with the history of BHO extraction, success has many fathers, some of which are trying to exclude competition and/or extort payment by claiming patent rights on closed loop LPG extraction systems.

As most of ya’ll know, patents are not respected internationally, so some secrets are best kept in house.  In the aerospace industry we often didn’t patent key process breakthroughs, so as to not draw attention to them, but instead published a paper on them in an obscure journal, so we were protected if someone else subsequently tried to patent it.

In the commercial product industry, we patented unique features to draw customer attention to them, and used Patent Pending to ward off duplication by competitors, even if we knew the patent was unlikely to be granted. 

I’ve always believed in Occum’s razor theory, as well as that truth is shorter than fiction, so let me share a few factoids along with my perspective, for ya’ll to consider with the rest.

It wasn’t me!  I didn't invent the concept, but instead got my own inspiration 07-26-2009, 06:58 PM, from a 04-26-2006, 08:13 PM post on IC Mag by Foaf.

He used two paint pressure pots and a refrigerant recovery pump to extract cannabis with butane and recover it for reuse.   It was entitled BHO Large scale closed system and can be read at: https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread.php?t=27954

 

FOAF’s Experiment

Schematic 1

Schematic 2

Schematic 3

As a retired Manufacturing Engineer with background in equipment and process development, I asked myself what a piece of equipment accomplishing the above steps would look like and conceived the Terpenator design.

After building and proving the design, I donated it to public domain by publishing it on various public forums to insure there was enough of an audit trail that others couldn’t patent my design, so that it would always be available to the public. 

My intention was that any manufacturer wishing to build Terpenators or related designs, would compete on a level playing field with others doing the same, so that competition kept pricing reasonable, and pushed the state of the design art, as well as rewarded those manufacturers who provide the best product and service.

 

Terpenator operating schematic

 

Mk I Prototype in action

I built this prototype and posted the results on both Skunk Pharm Research site and at 02-07-2011 on IC Mag as Butane Extraction and Recovery System at:

https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread.php?t=203067&highlight=Butane+extractor+recovery+system

Shortly after building and publishing my designs on public forums, I met Fritz Chess of Eden Labs, who has been extracting using both sub and super critical Propane to extract cannabis since 1997, under CA Proposition 215. 

It was Fritz that turned me onto the Haskel pump, which became the backbone of WolfWurx Terpenator systems, and it was Paddy at Eden Labs that provided my first Propane honey oil experience.

I also learned from Fritz, Mathew Ellis of Extraction TEK fame and fortune, sprung from Eden Labs, with Fritz pursuing supercritical and Matt following hydrocarbon extraction.  In speaking to Matt, I learned that he also holds extraction patents, but has used them to fend off extorters, as opposed to fencing out competition currently in violation of his patents.

A kindred spirit after my own heart, as we both believe that the proper way to dominate the marketplace is through a superior product and customer service.  Competition keeps pricing in line, and pushes the state of the art, making it a win for both the manufacturers and customers.

Enter Drew Jones, a former student of mine, whom took our BHO extraction class in early 2013, which covered the following:

 SPR Class Descriptions:

1.0       BHO Extraction: 

1.1       We will demonstrate proper butane handling safety, with both open and   closed butane extraction systems.

1.2       We demonstrate BHO Extraction using a packed column, and a thermos, as well as a Lil Terp passive essential oil extractor, and a Mk IIIA Terpenator electric essential oil extractor.

1.3       We will demonstrate both fresh frozen and cured material preparation and   extraction.  It will be a hands-on class, where students look, touch and feel through each step.

1.4       We will provide information on how to build your own Lil Terp or Terpenator as well how to operate one.

1.5       You will learn how to winterize your BHO extractions, to remove plant waxes and produce an Absolute Amber extraction.

1.6       Students with designated drivers may compare the nuances of the different extractions done in class through vaporization, or optionally a student may  take their samples with them to compare at their leisure, once safely home.

As you will note, we taught him to build and use the Lil Terp passive extractor, as well as the Mk III Terpenator. 

Drew and I also discussed using a sight glass for the column, and I told him that we had considered it, and even had a sight glass clear PTFE coated in an attempt to meet the required 350 psi required for LPG by ASME.

The following is a print of that conceptual that I showed Drew, dated 11-6-2011.

Borosilicate passive extractor schematic

 Drew Jones applied for his patent 11-17-2014, which was granted 5-3-2016.  Possibly in part, because Dave McGhee’s patent application was lying dormant during that period, due to not being accepted first pass.  I’m not privy to how many units Drew sold, but I am unaware of anyone that he didn’t gift one to, owning his extractor.

https://patents.google.com/patent/US9327210B1/en

Shortly after applying for his patent, there was a discussion on IC Mag entitled “Mr Extractor”, discussion, where his design, method of operation, and his poisoning the well for other manufacturers was discussed.

https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread.php?t=298826&highlight=Connoisseur+Concentrates

We also discussed the low probability that his application would be granted, given the copious prior art, as well as Tamisum’s pending patent for essentially the same design, sans glass, and Tamisium’s actually meets ASME and NFPA requirements.

Clearly it was issued, giving Drew the right to spend all his money defending it, if he has any left after the civil and criminal issues regarding him supplying the vaping industry with Vitamin E acetate are resolved.

David McGhee’s Tamisium’s patent application lay dormant for a long time, but was rewritten and two were subsequently approved, with one still pending.  We didn’t believe his was patentable either, due to the copious prior art and practices, but we were clearly wrong there as well.

Here is FOAF’s repost on IC Mag, where I first saw the passive process demonstrated:

FOAF’s passive experiment

Here are Tamisium’s approved patents for application and method, as opposed to equipment design, with a third still pending.

U.S. Patent No. 9,604,155, filed 6-7-10 and granted 3-28-17 for Application.

U.S. Patent No. 9,757,664, filed 10-15-15 and granted 9-12-17 for Method

U.S. 2017-0326472 Patent pending

Priority filing dates June 2009.

Enter John Davis (Indra) late in the game, again claiming patents excluding the rest of us players and seeking payment.

Here is Indra’s patent that he applied for in 2002 and was granted in 2006, which uses a solvent mist at 2 to 5 bars.  https://www.google.com/patents/US7002029  

As Propane’s super critical pressure is about 41.8 bars, that would be sub-critical extraction, but note that the patent calls for passing a solvent mist through the material to be extracted, while BHO extraction passes a liquid solvent through the material and recovers it as a vapor..

There are patents for extracting oils and fats from plant material using a closed loop system with liquid butane/propane, at least as far back as 1931, with Emmet Ebenezer Reid’s patent US1802533, since expired.   https://google.com/patents/US1802533.

Indra too has been lower profile of late, possibly related to the legal action resulting from the actual performance of the machines that he built and sold.

Sooooo, who does hold the magic patent trumping all others, ASSuming such an animal exists? 

Good question!  From this simple engineer’s perspective, it is hard to see how any of the patents in question got issued, given the copious prior art and practice.  What I envision as patentable, is new technology that no one else has thought of or has been using for years.

What feature provides what advantage over existing art and common practice, deserving of protection getting it to market??

Issuing patents that are indefensible is another boon to the legal profession, but it makes it more expensive and problematic for us actual product creators and manufacturers, vis a vis those simply extorting money waving their patents in our faces.

How long before we have to get patent insurance to cover our expenses defending our patents?  Or insurance against being blind sided with a patent suit.

Yet another boon for the insurance industry as well?

How long until the ration of brothers and sisters in the insurance and legal professions, versus actual producers of product reach 2:1????


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