Forget Water Conservation – Make your own!

by Organikal on June 16, 2006

That’s what the King of Thailand plans to do!

I couldn’t resist this story from out-law.com :

The King of Thailand has been awarded a patent for a technology
which claims to enable him to produce rain. The patent claims to be
for a chemical system which can generate and control rainfall.

The European Patent Office has granted the patent to King
Bhumibol Adulyadej for ‘weather modification by royal rainmaking
technology’
, having been satisfied, up to a point, of the
technology’s plausibility.

“The granting of the patent does not say whether it is a good
patent or a bad patent and does not mean that it has been checked
technically but that yes it seems plausible,” said EPO spokesman
Rainer Osterwalder.

“We examine a patent in respect of the state of the current art.
All we can do is decide if it is plausible in terms of similar
existing cases,” said Osterwalder. A search report conducted by the
EPO did find eight ‘documents considered to be relevant’ in the
examination of prior art.

The patent application has been administered on behalf of the
King by Professor Anont Boonyarattanavej, the secretary general of
the Thailand Research Fund, according to China’s People’s Daily
Online.

The Thai King’s previous agricultural experience was brought
into the decision to award the patent, said Osterwalder. “The King
of Thailand has expertise in agriculture, having studied at the
Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [Switzerland],” said
Osterwalder. “He has an educational background in agricultural
questions.”

The patent, numbered EP1491088, is for a system of chemicals
that claims to be able to ‘trigger’, ‘fatten’, ‘move’, ‘attack’ and
‘enhance’ rain and clouds in order to create and direct
rainfall.

“The technology is developed to help people in Thailand and
particularly those farmers who repeatedly face drought disasters
due to variation and deviation of the seasons,” says the patent.
“In addition [it is] an attempt to solve a seemingly insoluble and
paradoxical problem of water management in the North-East region of
Thailand.”

The patent application documents the more traditional methods of
rain generation in the area. “In the old days, people in this
North-East region cleverly launched a firework to function as a
traditional cloud seeding device to cause chemical burning
underneath the cloud resulting in rainfall. They had to carefully
observe behaviour of the frogs in the locality as it is well-known
that frogs are animal able to indicate the possibility of
rainfall,” it says.

“When there was severe draught, people in the village would also
perform a cat procession to beg for rain. These components are
prior arts. Statistically, the people would unpredictably get the
rain they need due to the inefficiency of the procedure.”

The modern method is, the patent claims, more reliable. “The
‘Royal Rainmaking Technology’ is therefore developed to make rain
to fall onto a target area successfully by applying this invented
technology and using aircraft,” it says. “This technology provides
sufficient fresh water supplies which may otherwise rapidly become
inadequate to serve a growing water demand in each part of the
country.”

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