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Draft Response to Advisory for Patent Application

Controlled Environment Agriculture Systems

Good news for Jim Ray at Agricola Technology yesterday, Jan. 18, 2022. His patent application is in the final stages. Sheree Rowe, a Partner at Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP in Palo Alto, CA is prosecuting the application with the US Patent and Trademark Office. Brian Floyd, Jim’s roommate from Woodberry Forest School in Woodberry Forest, VA, graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with his PhD in Electrical Engineering, worked with Sheree, and authored the document. James S. Ray, Sr. financed the patent application, James S. Ray, Jr. invented the systems, and James S. Ray, III along with his brother, Mitchell, built the systems for Wayne Community College.

Jig Saw, Eclectical Engineer – Agricola Technology – 919-351-5285 –

Patent Application (129302-0001UT01) – Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP

Attached for your review is a draft response to the Advisory Action and final office action for your patent application.  I reviewed the application and provisional application materials for support for the direct attachment of an LED or PCB with LEDs.  If I understand correctly, FIGs. 28-32 and the corresponding description of the provisional patent application appendix show a COB LED directly mounted to the bottom of the pan, and the appendix says that the design “eliminates over 40 parts from the chassis and cooling system by others” “reduce mechanical height of the LED lighting assembly” “has nearly zero mechanical height,” so it seems that there is support for the amendment.  I also added a few new dependent claims, including one that specifies without a chassis and without a separate cooling mechanism.  As the remarks in the advisory action are brief, I kept the remarks in the response brief, and I included the more detailed remarks from the final office action.
I recommend that we call the Examiner to request another interview after submitting the response.
Please review the draft amendments and remarks and let me know if you have any comments or whether you approve them to be filed.
Patent Application

Provisional application No. 62/584,568 was filed Nov.10, 2017, and the patent application US 2019/0141923 A1 was published May 16, 2019.

Wayne Community College in Goldsboro, NC has five Agricola Technology systems in a linear array with 4 layers that couple photons from adjacent systems for constant lighting intensity in each row. Two redundant mini splits control the environment inside the shipping container on their campus, and they are the first in the State of North Carolina to teach controlled environment agriculture that helps farmers with alternative crops to tobacco like nutritionally-dense microgreens also grown on the International Space Station. Jim, pictured here, worked with the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund to help get funding for the campus development at Wayne Community College where Gabe Mitchell is the Department Chair for Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Controlled Environment Agriculture

Jim provided an example for the math involved in scaling the systems:

  • 4 layers * 2 lb/layer = 8 lb per system
  • 8 lb * 28 systems in one 40′ shipping container
  • 224 lb of microgreens harvested every week per container
  • $120k gets the systems and container

At $85/lb wholesale to restaurants in Richmond, VA for Cilantro microgreens, that’s $20k per week revenue meaning that you pay for the system in 6 months, and it is a little bit like printing your own money from there.

Jim participated in the market research/customer discovery training with I-Corp that is a program founded by the National Science Foundation, and that increases the chance of getting their $225,000 grant from 17% to 50% according to a professor at a college that had worked with National Science Foundation. Jim hopes to collaborate with a university, and obtain the funding to help that university develop controlled environment agriculture education.
System Diagram
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