Thursday, October 28, 2010

EEStor & Halloween: Halloweestor?

If you live in or around Cedar Park, TX and a gentleman in his 70s tries to trick or treat your house this year, would you please inform the Great Pumpkin to finish his work with the batteries first.  There will be plenty of time for great big bags of candy in due time. 

Here are a couple vids to help true believers feel good about Halloween. Enjoy

Regards to RT for originally drawing this to my attention.  Halloween is over and I missed it!   You owe me restitution!


Friday, October 22, 2010

EEStor's Law Firm Sued: Intellectual Property Conflict of Interest Claimed

Former Entrepreneur
In the United States, we are proud of our entrepreneurs.  They create. They innovate. They take risks and create new businesses and jobs.  Venture capital firms seize upon this sentiment and often claim loudly that they deserve credit for sharing the risk and providing the financing and connections required by start up businesses.  Often times what turns out to be the most valuable asset of such start up firms is the intellectual property it wins through the work of it's attorneys.  Therefore, this legal work is an important essential component of the success of American innovation.   To be a successful entrepreneur then one must go beyond having a workable idea--you have to hang on to it and fight off more powerful entities such as VC's and law firms.    Therefore, the entrepreneur is always the underdog which gives us all the more reason to admire their accomplishments.

So, it is accordingly horrendously shocking when an IP firm teams with a VC firm to bully an entrepreneur.   A lawsuit by a biotech startup against Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati--EEStor's legal team-- raises this awful spector.   The claim advanced by startup Existence Genetics is that WSGR was hired to advance their IP claims but failed to disclose they were also working for a competitor. How was this discovered?  Navigenics patents were published by the USPTO revealing the same firm was supporting both organizations. 

Even if WSGR successfully defend themselves against this lawsuit, this is NOT GOOD AT ALL for entrepreneurs wishing to work with this law firm.   Here's why.   Even if they throw a couple of their attorneys under the bus (namely Vern Norviel who apparently caused this mess to ensue by apparently failing to identify the COI), it strongly suggests that as an organization,  WSGR does not have good controls over prevention of conflicts of interest.   I mean really---it's 2010, how can something like this really happen from a technological & procedural point of view? Are there no checks and balances against such an arrangement or are attorneys able to be judge, jury and attorney when bringing in new clients?  WSGR will no doubt have a spirited defense but they are certainly not going to extend an olive branch here due to the $100Mil damages figure appended to the complaint. 

In the complaint, we learn a bit about how WSGR may have interfaced with EEStor in terms of deal structure which allowed them to become part owners of EEStor.   According to Existence Genetics, they were offered $20,000 worth of patent protection work in exchange for 1.5% and a 10% discount on legal fees.  WSGR apparently also said they would not require payment til the fees hit $100,000. 

Apparently in the dealings leading up to inking an agreement,  Vern Norviel advised against working with Kleiner Perkins.  The claim makes it seem like he did this in order to conceal an already established arrangement with Navigenics.  But, one wonders whether this is about billing legal fees or possibly there was also an equity stake in Navigenics in play.   Additionally, when the conflict was discovered, why was the non Kleiner funded company the one severed? 

Personally, I want to believe that the most powerful law firm in Silicon Valley is cleanly run by people entrepreneurs can trust. I want to believe that if the claims have merit then they reflect only the actions of an individual and not an organization.  Because let me tell you something,  if you bully entrepreneurs you are bullying American Innovation!   

If I were WSGR, I would begin making some courtesy calls to all of my Intellectual Property clients to assure them that conflicts of interest do not exist in relation to their support of their particular firm.  Better to be proactive than to have the USPTO running public affairs for you.  If it turns out that WSGR has actually more instances of this problematic case, then all trust is certainly lost when it comes to WSGR providing IP support to entrepreneurs.  There's a reason why law firms are named after the individuals who compose it--because trust is the fundamental grounding for the services they provide. 

If you're with me, and you see a problem here, then take a moment to think about Venture Capital firms. Luckily, legal firms have these conflict of interest issues to deal with when bringing on new clients. But what about VC's?  Do they have any legal obligations to ensure conflicts of interest do not occur and that firms into which they invest receive undivided support?  I don't know the answer to that.   We know VC's often back two or three battery companies, solar companies, wind companies, software companies, etc etc.   What transpires when these investment firms are actually competitors?  Would a VC with a larger stake in one company use its access to the competitor to gain valuable information?  I don't even like to think about the answer to that question.  But I definitely think VC's should answer to ask them. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Yet Another EEStor Patent Allowance: Method of preparing ceramic powders using chelate precursors

Patent application 11/369255 has been issued an allowance by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

It means it will soon be granted a patent number to become a full fledged piece of EEStor intellectual property.

This patent was hard fought if the submission of 4 affidavit's is any indication.  

Many are rightly wondering what the significance of this patent is amid all of EEStor's IP pursuits.  I think I can shed some light on that subject.   Here are 10 key points to summarize its importance.

1) This is the most important patent ever allowed anywhere on earth ever.
2) This is the most valuable patent ever allowed anywhere on earth ever and always will be forever.
3) This is the most awesome patent ever conceived, prosecuted, considered, fought over and read ever.
4) This is the greatest patent in the universe
5) This is most well worded, succinct, thrifty, friendly, wholesome, insightful, analytic, beautiful patent ever allowed
6) This patent is better than 80% of Shakespeare's plays
7) This patent is the key to taking over the world and holding everyone in it hostage (oops, that's an exaggeration)
8) This patent has magical properties making anyone who reads or understands it able to chelate out
9) This is the sexiest patent alive
10) This patent proves beyond any doubt that the US Government loves EEStor Inc with all of it's heart


11) Whoever wields this patent is the most powerful force in the Milky Way
12)  All other patents strive to be a fraction as good as this patent
13) .....  [please feel free to grow the Top 10 list to infinity with your praise]

PS: Photo of Ben Franklin included to further intimidate.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Three EEStor Insiders Break Their Silence: "We're Upset With Dick Weir"

"We are upset with Dick and want him to hurry up."   So say three people very close to EEStor Inc. operations in a recent interview I was solicited to perform via conference call earlier this week.   Lockheed Martin's CEO, Bob Stevens, Dick Weir's wife Betty Weir and Jesus Christ, Son of God are all in agreement, Dick Weir is taking waaay too long to deliver.  

Tuesday October 12, 2010:  Panel Transcript

B: First of all, thanks to all of you for asking me to conduct this interview. I'm very humbled by your request and incredibly interested to see what you're hoping to discuss with me.  Who wants to go first?

Bob Stevens:  Betty, JC, if I may?

Betty: Sure.

JC: As you wish. 

Lockheed CEO: Bob Stevens
BS:  Thanks.  Ok, B, here's the deal.  Dick is completely out of control with this stealth thing.  It's gone on LONG ENOUGH!  I've got a business to run and we need those batteries. Let me give you an example, ok? I was in Austin recently and I popped by Dick's office.  When I walked in, I knew he had an EESU sitting his desk. What do you think he did?  Yeah, he quickly stuffed it into his desk like if he were hiding a candy bar. I mean COME ON, DICK! I run Lockheed big guy!  

Betty:  That's right B.  As Bob says, we're all really frustrated with Dick.  I love him dearly but it might be time to see if maybe he's ever going to let me see the EESU?  I'm not making this up, B. Sometimes Dick brings an EESU home and carries it around the house under a silky black cloth, you know, like the sort you would use for a reveal.....pull back the covers as it were to reveal the device.  I said, Dick, are you ever going to pull the curtain off that thing, dear or just talk about pulling it off?  He got so testy with me.  But he's cute when he's upset. 

JC:  Dick Weir I DO NOT approve of any more EESU hiding games.  Bring forth the EESU into my Divine Light. 

[Lightning cracks]

B:  Wow, ok, I get it. So, you three wanted to come together and deliver this message together. Fascinating.  But, honestly, don't you think Dick's got really good reasons for not pulling the curtain off the EESU yet?  I mean he could really juice up his competitors don't you think?

BS:  B, we looked at this thing 14 ways to Sunday. (Sorry, J) Anyway, there are no competitors. That little mad scientist figured out how to store energy, a TON of energy in a tiny little footprint.  The man's a genius but holy cow, someone make him check box a calendar already.  

JC:  Everything in the universe is mine, B. You know that.  Dick is merely a steward of MY EESU.  Lately, I'm thinking if he's going to dilly dally, I might just taketh away what I have giveth.  Cometh to think about it, how is he even storing energy in barium titanate anyway? HHhhmm.

B: Lord, if you were to taketh, who might you giveth this to?  

JC:  I don't know, B. I haven't thought it out yet.  Do you want it?

B: Lord, I am definitely not worthy.  You know how I lose my car in the mall parking lot all the time.   I am just happy being your humble dumb servant.  But can you make the Zenn stock go up, Lord?

JC: No, B. 

[Lightening cracks]

B: Ah. OK. 

Betty Weir
Betty: I know what you should do, Lord if you decideth to taketh away.  Giveth it to Chilean miners.  I loveth watching the rescues. Those happy sardines know what to do with their time on earth.  They aren't going to be purifying powders, I bet you. 

[All three laugh and then tear up thinking about those happy miners.]

B:  I want you all to know I respect all of you for obvious reasons. But I'm on Dick's side in this thing.  After all, he invented it.  That must also necessarily make him an expert in communications, media relations, corporate image, brand, financing, large scale manufacturing, international commerce regulations, barium mining and credibility and trustworthiness.  He knows it works.  That's good enough for me.  I love that guy, you know?

BS: B, we all love Dick very dearly. Me especially. I want to see his battery on a satellite so we can perform space based laser surgery on the bad guys, if you know what I mean, B. I can't wait to high five Dick when we are frying ants like with a giant magnifying glass.  Zap! Zap!   [Stevens has both hands cuffed and his thumbs are pressing down like on a video game.]

JC: Hey, heeeyyyy!  None of that!

BS: Oh, sorry about that. 

B: Well, what can we do, here?  How can we all work together to get Dick to get off his hands and share a little information already?

Betty: He likes Chinese food. Loves it actually.  Maybe our plan could involve Chinese food?

BS: HHhmmm, that's got me thinking. 

JC:  I know.  I will cause a rice famine until Dick reveals the EESU! 

B: Lord, no, please spare us this deserved punishment.  If it please you, give us a positive incentive for Dick to act quickly. 

Jesus in his carpentering days. 
JC:  Well, let me thi...ok, I'm done.  From this day forward, all Chinese food sold in Cedar Park may be obtained ONLY with EESU currency.  Don't worry children, I am only requiring one tiny component with the required ED, PD and durability for a quart of pork fried rice. 

Betty: Lord, I your way is brilliant. 

BS:  That's definitely got legs. 

B:  I think that will definitely bring this thing out into the open.   See how we all worked together?  I like teamwork. 

Well, to wrap up then, I have a lot of other questions for all three of you.  Do we have any more time to....

[Three conference call departure tones play in rapid succession.]

Thanks to Nekote for preparing this transcript for us. 


Note:  I apologize if any Chinese people were offended by this poor attempt at humor. 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

10 Ten 10

1)  This secret's a secret even after its told. 

2)  To know it is to love it, to understand it is to hate it.

3)  To not understand it is to love to know it and so hate it.

4)  To aim for it, is to lose it. It's already there. 

5)  Thus, this secret is secure.  

6) A secret's not a secret after it's told.

7) Hating to know is loving to understand.

8) Owning is knowing to hate loving.

9) Words are more than numbers.

10) This ten's 10 are all 10. Beware of 10 10 10. 

10-10-10 Part 2

EEStor: 10-10-10

Friday, October 8, 2010

States of Texas Declares EEStor Titan of Industry: Only Kidding

The Texas Workforce Commission has released a new book this month called "Working Texas Style" which includes a quote from EEStor's Tom Weir in Chapter 14 on "Hot Technologies in Today's Texas."   Weir claims 2010 will be a big year for EEStor (gulp) and that they plan to be a Texas based company.  (no, not Brazil)  Intriguingly,  Weir claims they will begin hiring less advanced engineers than they have today...

I'm going to quote the book at length:

Batteries and Energy Storage
Storing electric energy is the Holy Grail for both the utility industry and the auto industry. Texas is home to several battery company headquarters but has not been as successful at luring the companies’ production factories. For example, ActaCell Inc., a specialized lithium-ion battery maker, has its headquarters in Austin but its major employment operations in Asia.
In 2008, several companies that make or research battery technology formed a consortium called the National Alliance for Advanced Transportation Batteries (NaatBatt). Lured by incentives, the consortium chose to locate its research, development and production operations in Kentucky rather than Texas. This loss highlights the limited success of Texas in the battery field. Yet Texas isn’t out of the game.
EEStor Inc., based in the Austin suburb of Cedar Park, claims to have made an Electrical Energy Storage Unit, or EESU, that can be charged at a much faster rate than current technology allows and can power an average-sized automobile for roughly 300 to 500 miles on a single charge — the equivalent of the drive from Dallas to Houston and back. By comparison, the new Chevrolet Volt electric car can go 40 miles per charge. If EEStor’s advanced capacitor technology works and if it becomes commercially accepted, then EEStor may become the definition of disruptive technology — or unexpected innovations — and Texas will be a big beneficiary. “This is game- changing technology,” said Tom Weir, vice president of EEStor. “We believe 2010 will be a big year for us, and we plan to stay in Texas and grow in Texas.”
Weir stresses that EEStor is making electrical energy storage units that are more like capacitors than traditional batteries. A battery is simply a container of chemicals that interact to store electricity, whereas a capacitor involves layers of metal that store an electrical charge. This different approach to discharging portable energy could make the small Cedar Park company a poster child for disruptive technology.
EEStor has raised more than $8 million in venture capital funding since 2003. The firm currently employs 11 people in 8,000 square feet of space in an industrial park. If the company’s product catches on, however, that payroll number could grow quickly. Until now, the company has primarily hired employees with Master’s and Doctoral degrees in electronics and engineering. Going forward, Weir said the company will primarily need workers with “normal” engineering degrees and extensive product development experience.

The Texas Workforce Commission is what

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Battery Hype + Electric Delivery Truck Hype = Electrification Hysteria!

Full Disclosure: before I wrote this article, I bought 2000 shares of Enova stock at $0.74 today.  I have no intention of trading the stock or flipping it for a short term gain. As with my Zenn investment (which I have never sold), I intend to take a long term investment approach.  Most of my investment decisions lead to failure so do not construe this article as an invitation to join me as I wheelbarrow more of my money off a cliff.  There are plenty of other ways to piss away your own money.  Get creative. 

The chairman of the Enova Systems Inc. board of directors has joined Zenn Motor Company's board of directors and shall be addressed using his full name, John Robert Wallace.  Wallace fills a vacancy created with Peter Mackechnie's resignation announcement issued in the same press release.   Once they repair the window Mackechnie threw himself out of due to losing his mind waiting for EEStor to do something interesting,  Wallace has a lot of interesting challenges ahead chief among them is guiding Zenn to a place where they feel comfortable talking about what the hell they've been up to for the past year or so on the apparently uber secret ZENNergy drive project.  If Wallace can induce that Oprah moment, we might learn if there is true synergy between Enova and Zenn or if this is just a cocktail  napkin AH HA moment among people promoting their own short term interests.

As far as EEStor is concerned, this announcement probably changes nothing.  If Zenn added one of the Apostles to their Board of Directors, they would still have the problem of trying incessantly to liquor up Dick Weir and push him out in front of a bunch of cameras and microphones to coax a statement.

Yet Wallace has a background that certainly makes his rolodex impressive.  Sure, Enova like Tesla or any similar project tied to vehicle electrification has it's stock set of naysayers.  But within that world, what counts as credibility certainly seems to be with JRW.   Enova sounds like a company many 2 years ago had hoped Zenn could turn into.  They're building electric drive systems seemingly geared mainly for delivery or service vehicles.  Think box trucks like UPS or FEDEX which would be great except that skeptics have questioned whether a company like Enova can scale up to address customers of that size.  I have no idea if they can do it.   I would love to be at that first meeting at Zenn when they walk Wallace into a large cold empty condemned God forsaken warehouse outside of Toronto and pull his blindfold off, "Surprise! This is ZENNergy!"

In terms of electrification, I do like the cold hard rationality that exists in the business market vs the consumer market. This is because businesses look at a business case with far less emotion that consumers look at their car so that if there is a business case to be made for electric or hybrid delivery vehicles and the electric drive systems that make them possible, adoption will occur at the speed of of business.

In the coming days, I'll be looking for the herd at to identify the positives and negatives of Enova, Wallace and Zenn even if many think EEStor has no working product.

Of course, if you work at Enova, your new loose association with EEStor may make you think Oh No! va!!!  Especially since they actually make things and sell them to people.

Image Source:

Sunday, October 3, 2010

HP, their EEStor Patent and Ray Lane, their new Chairman

Ray Lane  Source: Flickr
It would be problematic if I didn't write an article highlighting something TheEEStory user Muftee pointed out.   Hewlett Packard recently hired Kleiner Perkins exec Ray Lane to be it's chairman.   Additionally, a recent HP patent application included a reference to EEStor.   Probably unrelated, sure.  But one mustn't forget that Ray Lane is one of the Kleiner partners mentioned on the SEC records which established that Kleiner had invested in EEStor.   And several months ago, he played coy with a gr33ntech media blogger about 2010 possibly being the year we go back to the future, ie, a reference to EEStor's ultra-flux-capacitor.

One thing I haven't noticed any news articles mentioning though is the prior connection between KPCB and HP vis a vis Tom Perkins, KPCB founder who left the board of HP in 2006 amid a strange story involving leaks.  Those damn leaks.
And why shouldn't we engage in a little speculation given how this all ties together? Who will get the first EESU's for personal computers?  HP?  IBM?  Dell?  Apple?  If Kleiner is involved with HP, it probably won't be them.  Sure, Tom Weir & Mort Topfer worked for Dell and Greg Weir works for Dell and we know that Michael Dell knows about EEStor.  And EEStor is in the Austin area but something tells me it's not the likely first place.  Dick Weir worked for IBM but I doubt there is any love there.  I would guess Apple has the best chance of obtaining EEStor technology before any of their rivals.   Of course, anyone with brains knows that the first adopter will be the one who firstly and thoroughly kisses Dick Weir's ass, which isn't so bad because 2nd, 3rd and 4th place will be required to grovel....which is far more demeaning.