Self-sustaining and Resilient Human Habitation

Morgan Irons patented “Ecological System Model” is pretty cool — although deceptively simple. U.S. patent No. 9,970,208 — focusing on space agriculture.

Claim 1:

A system for a self-sustaining and resilient human habitation on the Moon and Mars and for food security and climate change mitigation anywhere on Earth, comprising:

a habitation zone where humans are quartered;

an agricultural zone providing 700 square meters of food growing space per human; and

an ecological buffer zone approximately three times the area of the agricultural zone that contains a wild growth of plants and provides the remaining ecological services that Earth life needs to live self-sufficiently and resiliently.

Issued on first-action allowance after a restriction/election.

27 thoughts on “Self-sustaining and Resilient Human Habitation

  1. 10

    Fun fact, MM’s fav political operative stephen bannon ran one of these things on earth as a test of such facilities. (I was surprised to find that out a few years back) It was basically a failure iirc as nearly all of them are (esp long term). Not because of the hab, but because of the internal politics/social dynamics that get started. Then the humans start doing reta rded stuff.

  2. 9

    This is a variation on all those patent claims that are distinguished from the prior art only by including in them the feature “on the internet”. Instead of “on the internet” resort is instead had to the feature “on the moon”, to get the claim to issue. The enablement issue is much the same, I guess. Just write that we already know enough to put the claimed subject matter into effect.

    “Cool” you say, Dennis. Not the first word that comes to my mind, I must say.

  3. 8

    I commend the examiner for rubber stamping this. Generating at least an issue fee. Maintenance fees are a possibility.

    1. 8.1

      What sort of examination does USPTO management require from its Examiners? Efficient use of time to maximise fees, or optimal distinguishing of patentable from not patentable matter?

      Or, in other words, is there anything at the USPTO that would deter an Examiner from letting everything through to issue.

      1. 8.1.1

        Yes. Letting something of actual utility through that may threaten one of the more “select” customers.

        As for this application, it probably went through one of the SAWS-like programs, someone saw the impossibility of it actually being asserted, and went “Meh, what the H.”

      2. 8.1.2

        “…is there anything at the USPTO that would deter an Examiner from letting everything through to issue.”

        No. Eventually QR might make an effort to bounce the allowances and the powers that be might/could/would make an effort to fire the examiner. But the examiner’s union is strong, and it would take a lot of effort to remove the examiner. The powers that be probably are too lazy to make the effort.

        Of course, the corollary to your question is, “…is there anything at the USPTO that would deter an Examiner from letting nothing through to issue”? And the answer to that is clearly: no. And while an examiner with a 100% allowance rate would most likely draw scrutiny from QR and the powers that be, an examiner with a 0% allowance rate ain’t gonna raise a single eyebrow.

        1. 8.1.2.1

          It goes well beyond that, AAA JJ, as I am sure that you can recall the infamous “Allowance Cliff” chart being used in the Dudas era as a sign of “quality” (circa the era of Reject Reject Reject).

  4. 7

    Course, 20 years of exclusive rights commencing on issue (esp an indefinitely delayed issue) would be more appetising (for the one who is paying) than 20 years from filing and then “Game Over”.

    Will the patent owner ever recover their outlay in the patenting process? Are gamblers queuing up already, to pay for a licence?

    Or was it all just a harmless self-indulgent vanity project.

    1. 7.1

      Now in 20 years nobody will ever be motivated to colonize the moon or mars because without the patent there will be no investors to fund this crucial technology.

      /sad maximalist off

      1. 7.1.1

        Do you realize what a douche you come across as?

        1. 7.1.1.1

          I’m reciting the maximalist script verbatim. Of course I sound like a douche.

          1. 7.1.1.1.1

            It’s not that you are reciting anything…

  5. 6

    “There’s a chance that this could be one of the single most unfair, unjust things to happen to a candidate for anything.”

    Derp derp derp. Iancu couldn’t resist working for this guy.

    What a coincidence!

  6. 5

    Iancu was nominated to the positions in 2017 by President Donald Trump… Prior to taking the position with the USPTO, Iancu was the managing partner of Irell & Manella.[4]

    Maybe it’s time to tell some stories about Irell and Manella. Over the years I worked with a few patent partners who worked there. One of them was a notorious sexual harasser. Probably just a coincidence, though.

    Sure it is. Iancu isn’t that type of guy. He just jumped at the opportunity to work for that type of guy and now he’s jumping at the opportunity to tell sweet l i e s to his rich white male cronies so they can rake in some quick $$$.

    Nobody could have predicted any of this.

    1. 5.1

      “One of them was a notorious sexual harasser. ”

      I’ll take things that never happened for $500, Alex.

  7. 4

    That portion of the scope of the claimed invention that relates to “on the Moon and Mars” would seem to be limited by 35 U.S.C. 105 solely to its use “on a space object or component thereof under the jurisdiction or control of the United States”. Whether there will even be a U.S. base on the Moon or on Mars anytime in the next 20 years that would be large enough (700 square meters agricultural space per human inhabitant plus 3 times that for wild growth) to be covered by that aspect of the patent is wildly speculative. I suspect this will turn out to be merely a trophy patent for someone’s wall.

    As for the portion of the claimed scope that relates to”anywhere on Earth” itself, it has been practiced for millenia (since the advent of food production and early city states) and therefore lacks novelty. As a consequence, the whole claim fails as being overly broad.

    1. 4.1

      Whether there will even be a U.S. base on the Moon or on Mars anytime in the next 20 years that would be large enough (700 square meters agricultural space per human inhabitant plus 3 times that for wild growth) to be covered by that aspect of the patent is wildly speculative.

      More like batshirt cr@zy. It’s not going to happen.

      It’s like saying that robot cars will be driving us everywhere in 20 years. That’s also not going to happen.

      But there’s plenty of silly people out there with lots of money. Wave something shiny at them! They don’t know what else to do with it because they’re not very intelligent or creative. Cocaine and s e x with women who don’t really like you are bound to get boring after a while.

  8. 3

    Ah, yes: “zones” that “provide” our food needs on distant planets, described in terms of how much they provide.

    Nothing obvious about that. I wonder if this would work on Earth?

    1. 3.1

      You didn’t even read the claim, did you?

      C: “… and for food security and climate change mitigation anywhere on Earth,…

      1. 3.1.1

        Indeed! So there is something magical about 700 square meters/human that applies across interplanetary space and radically different enviornments not just within a planet but between planets.

        I wonder what that magic is all about?

        It’s true that 700 square meters is totally different from 650 square meters or 800 square meters. And we all know that farmers have struggled for eons to create farms with prime numbers of square meters/human (see, e.g., the McDonald Paradox).

        But this 700 square meters/human sounds like a pioneering advance. Someone call Paul Cole so he can keep an eye on this! He’s an expert on pioneering technology, in his own brain.

        1. 3.1.1.1

          I wonder what that magic is all about?

          Me too.

          Oh wait. No. No, I do not.

          I really do not care all that much about the particulars of one patent application, even as that patent application may be closer to science fiction than an actual innovation.

          It does NOT serve as the beacon that you want to make it out to be (as part of your typical ad hominem style of posting).

          If I were more interested in this puddle, I would read the application looking for enablement.

          As it were, this holds little possibility for enlarging the ocean of knowledge that I already possess.

          1. 3.1.1.1.1

            I really do not care all that much about the particulars of one patent application

            Even it’s a total piece of shirt and representative of a PTO that is completely dysfunctional (and not issuing enough junk for your liking).

            Got it.

          2. 3.1.1.1.2

            If I were more interested in this puddle, I would read the application looking for enablement.

            Because 700 square meters is hard to calculate?

  9. 2

    I don’t know that it is “deceptively” simple.

    This seems ripe for 103. You have a habitat. You know that people need food. Back in the day, people used to grow their own food, wait for it, in their own back yard/farm that was adjacent or surrounding their house/habitat! Crazy idea, I know.

    And as for barriers between their farm and the wild, I’d imagine there’s art for that.

    And are the terms like “wild growth” and “remaining ecological services that Earth life needs to live self-sufficiently and resiliently” sufficiently defined? The amount that I need to live “self-sufficiently” and “resiliently” (what does that even mean) are surely different than what someone, say in the poorest part of Brazil, might consider “sufficient,” which would also vastly differ from what, say a multi-billionaire or hollywood type might consider “sufficient.”

    All of that said, though, I’m pretty confident this will expire before anyone has the chance to infringe, since it requires “the moon and Mars,” which would be a pretty impressive habitat.

    1. 2.1

      I think by “deceptively simple” Dennis meant that, in practice, making this simple-looking method work could be … complicated.

      Now as I read the preamble I wonder if the idea isn’t to use the Moon and Mars as remote sources for food and “climate change mitigation” back on Earth.

  10. 1

    What? No computing?

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