Saturday, 11 April 2015

Would Bessler's wheel be patentable?

This question seems to have surfaced again recently and despite reading a lot of patent advice I am uncertain if I can answer the question asked in the title of this blog. What follows is my take on the issue but it is quite possibly erroneous in some aspects, for which I apologise.

Let us assume for the sake of argument, that a means has been found to produce a continuously rotating wheel, driven only by the force of gravity.  This has nothing to do with Johann Bessler's work.  It seems safe to assume that this would be patentable, in the USA and many other countries.

However, suppose someone should come along and announce that the wheel in question is an exact copy of Bessler's wheel, and therefore it could not be patented.  This raises two questions, firstly so what? Bessler did not patent it so it's fair game for someone else to patent, and secondly how do we know it is an exact copy of Bessler's wheel; everyone knows that he did not reveal the secret of his wheel, so  we can never prove or disprove that as a fact.

The decision on the first point may depend on the outcome of the second point.  If it was proved that the new wheel did in fact copy Bessler's wheel exactly, would that negate the possibility of patenting it?  Personally I don't think it would, even if it was proved that it was exactly the same design as Bessler's.  Look at a patent today; it covers every possible alternative reading of an invention.  It tries to cover all eventualities because the patent lawyer knows that the opposition will read everything in the patent to try to find a chink which he can use towards a new patent application.  Bessler's clues leave the field wide open for similar patent applications

The fact that Bessler left sufficient clues to allow someone to reconstruct his wheel exactly would not, in my opinion, be enough to make any future patent application invalid.  The clues, such as they are, are so obscure as to allow the formation of numerous designs which 999 times out of every thousand will undoubtedly fail due to the fact that he wrote them deliberately obscurely to keep them secret, and as I said recently, I think they were only there to allow him to point to them post the sale of his wheel, to show how devious and clever he had been.

I am aware of only two people who believe that they have solved most of the clues and are close to achieving success, and expect a working device soon, either simulated or an actual build - myself and Ken.  Having said that, in illustration of the difficulties in deciphering these clues, both Ken and I have arrived at our widely differing solutions via completely different sets of clues.

I should also mention that there are others who also feel that they are making progress in the right direction although I'm not aware of any soon-to-be announced working models.

This blog raises one more point.  It has been said many times, that even if somebody succeeds in making the continuously-turning wheel there will be no way of knowing if Bessler's wheel resembled it in any way.  I would reject that argument utterly, my own design has borrowed extensively from Bessler's work and while I am unwilling to share anything until I have finished it, I am confident of success, but does that mean that Ken's wheel will fail?  I have no idea, but I have made mine without any springs and that he will see as a major error.  LOL

Finally, should any of us succeed and knowingly base it on the information Bessler left in his clues, would it be morally wrong to patent it without acknowledging Bessler's part?




  1. I could not in good conscience patent an invention that I believed was invented first by someone else and whose clues enabled me to duplicate the invention. That is just not morally or ethically proper. If I am lucky enough to finally "crack the nut" that Bessler left us, I intend to also publish the clues that led me to success. I doubt if anybody fairly reading those clues would have any doubts as to how they led to a duplication of his wheels. Although they are all hidden in a cloud of ambiguity, having a working design in front of one's eyes while again viewing the clues suddenly makes them all as clear as crystal. And he did not just leave a vague clue or two, but, literally, several dozen of them! The probability of all of these just being "coincidence" yet adding up to a working wheel is about one in a trillion! But, even so, there will still be those who claim that he fully took the secret of his wheels to his grave no matter what I or anybody else says. I'm not concerned with convincing every single person on Earth as to the validity of his many clues. If I can convince, say, 2/3, then that will be sufficient. As far a the big corporations rushing it to steal the design and patent it is concerned, I am not worried about that. Once they realize how little power his wheels output relative to their masses, they will probably not even want to spend the money pursuing a patent! Finding the solution to Bessler's wheels is not about getting rich or transforming the world. It's about solving a longstanding historical puzzle and seeing that a very clever and persistent inventor finally gets the credit he deserves.

  2. Well, the single and most important factor in the determination of whether a patent should be granted or not is whether the invention or innovation is new or not.
    So, a patent search is conducted. The invention must not be able to be found among other patents nor found to be obvious based on other patents. The search can also be extended to other documents and information without the ambit of the patent office. This is at least how I understand the status quo to be.

    I learned this because I once thought of the exact same electro-mechanical principal as someone else and
    had indented to patent the idea, only to discover that it had been patented already. The principal that I am referring to I called the spring-loaded generator, and I intended to patent it in the form of a wind-up torch.

    So, would a patent search reveal Besslers principal ? I don't think so, and therefore it should be possible for a patent to be granted.
    Whether or not you will be able to enforce the law governing your patent is another question. It may well be that the principal is so simple, that you would have to take the whole world to court in order to prevent them from implementing it.

    I have spiritually matured somewhat since my younger days and will not patent besslers wheel once I have discovered it :-) I would rather in deed aspire to attain the virtues of men such as Benjamin Franklin and release the idea to humanity freely for the greater good of both humanity and the idea.

    I'm not keen on the "intelectual property" idea. Our intellect is God-given and freely He gave us it, so freely we should give it out.
    Many of our ideas stem from other individuals so, we all feed on each others intellect so, why should we lay claim personally to something that has developed or come to light by collective thought.

    We Bessler boffins no doubt owe a lot to Besslers God-given intellect.
    If he were able to foresee the result of the burning of fossil fuels combined with the Industrial Revolution, in all probability I believe he would have revealed the wheel without batting an eyelid.


  3. I think you would get a patent approved. Bessler didn't establish "prior art". It would be up to the person to acknowledge it was based on clues and codes in 300 year old documents.

    Also, you can't get a patent on a law of nature or a physical phenomena, so for example, if the solution established a new relationship between force and mass (F≠ma), and a new scientific principle, you couldn't patent that new formula or principle. That's why you would have to have an actual machine to get a patent grant.

  4. One can not patent nature. So, any patent on Bessler's wheels would have to be on the unique weight shifting mechanism he employed. However, I contend that, although very carefully hidden, that mechanism is described in precise geometrical / mathematical detail in his published works or, actually, only one of them (i.e., DT). As far as his mechanism is concerned, it only employed weights, levers, ropes, and springs. What is unique about it is that it relies upon a precise interaction of torques in order to maintain the position of the center of mass on a drum's descending side during rotation. And, that precise interaction of torques is critically dependent upon precise parameters for the components he used. How could he have come up with something like this in the early 18th century? It was a combination of many mathematical calculations, his skills as an organ and clockmaker, unusual perseverance, and, of course, much luck. What counts is that, in the end, he achieved "triumphant" pm. I can not shake the feeling, however, that if his secret mechanism is not found soon (like in the next year), then it will never be found! Today's world is a very impatient place and quickly loses interest when results are less than instant. Three centuries is certainly not "instant" by any stretch of the imagination.

  5. Ken, so many things seems wrong with what you write. I predict you will not succeed, no offence!! 1. Bessler stated that there was nothing critical about the construction of the machine, you say the opposite. 2. Why would the Prince be wondering why nobody had created the machine before, if there was need for so many calculations, combinations and precise parameters. 3. You talk about clues. If you are looking at clues, and evaluating clues, you are still far from the truth. 4. Bessler wrote that he would publicly patent the machine in 1717. Look at what he published in 1717. Was it DT? (You say that DT (portraits) is the only place the information is described). Sorry, but I can`t find any logical trail in what you write. Again, no offence, just my perception of what you write. I wish you the best and good luck!

    1. You've raised some important issues, Oystein. Let me respond as best I can.

      1. Bessler had precise values for all of the components in his wheels and these values were derived mathematically to, as I've previously said, three decimal places. In practice, however, a carpenter would not be able to achieve that precision with hand tools. Some small amount of deviation is unavoidable and, fortunately, tolerable because, when all of the components are considered together, their small deviations tend to cancel each other out.

      2.) Count Karl only viewed a small table top sized prototype which was a one directional wheel with a minimum of components. It's construction would have seemed very simple to him. If he had taken the time to actually measure the various angles, ratios, and distances in the components, however, he would have realized just how precise that 3 foot diameter model wheel's parts actually were. Karl had no understanding of the amount of mathematical computations that went into Bessler's wheels.

      3.) I do talk about clues, but I have already accurately interpreted the majority of them. Unfortunately, I have not correctly interpreted all of them yet. I believe that I am, literally, only one spring away from achieving final success.

      4.) Bessler did not begin construction of the Kassel wheel until the spring of 1717 and DT was published in October of 1719. He could not patent any of his wheels in 1717 because patents were not available to him where he lived. However, I believe that it was actually in the year 1717 when he began working on the various specific clues that he would later use in DT and which would serve as a patent in the absence of an official one. They later showed up in DT and allowed him to fulfill his promise to Karl to "explain" how his wheels worked.

    2. 1, So Bessler found his design by mathematical experiments, not through trial and error as he wrote? Why would he hide a lot of angles or spring values or what ever? Who could ever make use of that? Did he predict the existence of computers and VM2D or something? Could he prove anything by values? They could be weather temperatures, number of visitors to his wheel, the date of publication or whatever. Please elaborate!

      2. Have you got any more details about the table top size wheel? A simple one way wheel is OK, and more than we need!

      3. Could you give me one example/excerpt where you have found that Bessler has hidden a message about 2 springs pr. mechanism? Please don`t tell me you are interpreting the curl in his wig or something similar that some other searchers have been relying on...

      4. Do you claim that Bessler lied and that you know better? Bessler wrote that he would make a public patent in 1717! Did Bessler lie? or did he not? Where did Bessler write that he would patent his device in 1919? What did Bessler publish in 1717?

      It is all about using existing information and make new conclusions that is true based on truths, and not to rely on information that has been made up or speculated. You can`t build new bricks on imaginary bricks. You may try though.

      If Bessler wrote that he would patent his device in public/publications in 1717....guess what...there is only ONE possible conclusion (assuming Bessler wasn`t a liar, but then all this would be in vain anyway) "Voila": If Bessler was genuine thus telling the truth, a patent must exist in AP. This is the way you should work and think. Not build speculations upon a speculation. You can only speculate once, but not build upon it. Still no offence intended!

    3. I remember Ken posted that he got the number of springs from how many curls were in the wig, and other clues in a similar fashion. I don't remember which topic we were on, but it was here somewhere.
      To each his own.

    4. @Oystein:

      from 1: "Why would he hide a lot of angles or spring values or what ever? Who could ever make use of that? Did he predict the existence of computers and VM2D or something? Could he prove anything by values?"

      I'm certainly making use of this information and without it I would have nothing right now! Bessler knew that someone trying to reverse engineer his wheel at a future date would inevitably reach the same design he had, but would need these critical values to continue and achieve success. Originally he probably expected some inventor during his lifetime to stumble across the same design he found and wanted to be able to prove to the world that he, Bessler, had been there first. Eventually, however, as his he grew older and his wheels were not selling, he started to view this encrypted information as a legacy for some future imbalanced pm wheel builder to find. I've found it!

      from 2: "Have you got any more details about the table top size wheel?"

      All of the models I work on are for the 3 foot diameter table top wheel Bessler first found success with in Gera. It is very simple and is one directional. It does not have the special latches used during the push start of a two directional wheel or those needed to disable the shifting in the levers of the unused one directional wheel that must always undergo retrograde rotation when a two directional wheel turns in either of its possible directions. Needless to say, this smaller table top wheel does not use 4 lb weights. They are much smaller.

      from 3: " Could you give me one example/excerpt where you have found that Bessler has hidden a message about 2 springs pr. mechanism?"

      Unfortunately, to provide that I would have to reveal some clues I've just found in the second DT portrait and which I am still working with and for you to understand them I would have to go into a lengthy explanation of several other alphanumerical clues below the portrait. Suffice it to say that I have tried, literally, hundreds of single spring per lever designs and am firmly convinced that this approach can not work. Introducing a second spring is the only way to overcome this obstacle, but that spring must have the correct constant and be positioned and angled just right. It is the details of this second spring with which I am currently struggling. I don't recall discussing the wig Bessler wears in the first portrait, but it does contain important information about the number of springs contained in his wheels. One of the 32 visible curl openings provides some very important information about his use of springs, but I will leave it to readers to find and interpret that particular curl opening.

      from 4: "Bessler wrote that he would make a public patent in 1717! Did Bessler lie? or did he not?"

      Bessler lie? Never! I believe that he always told the he perceived it, that is. Making a "public" patent in 1717 would have been impossible for him so we must question the translation of this quote. He probably was announcing that he would be holding a public demonstration of his largest and most powerful wheel to date. That plan, however, had to be modified after he made contact with Count Karl. Then the wheel was constructed under the patronage of Karl and made public to those who were able to visit the Wiessenstein castle in Kassel. You seem convinced that you will find a "patent" for Bessler's wheels in AP. All I can say to that is "good luck"! From what I know of the design Bessler used, I can state with confidence that it's many parts and parameters would require hundreds or even thousands of words to adequately describe. That's a lot of information to put into a code in long poem. However, with a picture (like a portrait or two), it becomes a far easier task to accomplish.

  6. Is this the way life's meant to be?:)

  7. 0ystein -vs- Trevor ... and the winner is ...

  8. I will not be paying anyone for using the bessler wheel .
    What use is a patent if you cannot make money from it .

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.


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