LK-99 and the quest to patent a room-temp superconductor


Robert McFarlane

LK-99 and the quest to patent a room-temp superconductor

Rokas Tenys /

An invention that claims to exist at the threshold of operability? The US patent office has been here before, writes Robert McFarlane of Hanson Bridgett.

Headlines earlier this summer trumpeted the news that a team of researchers in South Korea had created a material called LK-99, which behaved as a superconductor at room temperature and ambient pressure.

The scientific press and even social media initially reacted with unbridled enthusiasm because, if the claim could be confirmed through rigorous testing, it would revolutionise modern technology.

The discovery of a material that acts as a superconductor under ordinary conditions has been called nothing less than a “holy grail” of modern physics. Conventional materials display at least some amount of electrical resistance under ordinary temperatures and pressures, which causes energy to be lost as heat when electricity passes through them. 

LK-99, superconductor, patent, utility, requirement, room temperature, nuclear fusion, cold fusion, invention, Korea