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December 04, 2006


A couple of people have emailed me this morning as they are receiving messages from a certain Ray Jenkins of the company Nikkogen. Things like this:

Please can you remove any reference to Nikkogen from your website/blog. The information on your website received automated or not is incorrect and any reference to our company as being a fraud is incorrect.

You may wish to contact Tim Worstall - who will I'm sure confirm that the information he provided via his website/blog was incorrect.

You have a week to remove any reference to our company.

Ray Jenkins

Director Business Development
Nikkogen Ltd
South Wales
United Kingdom

Tel: 44-121-288-2058 (Direct)

Err, no, I won't confirm that the information in my earlier post was incorrect. It remains my opinion that this wonderful new power source is a fraud and a scam. Two further points. One is that no one can insist upon such an absurdly restrictive request as removing 'any reference' to a company.

The second is that statements of opinion cannot be libellous.

Unity has more. I'm also promised that I'm now on the distribution list for technical information from the company. That'll be nice, won't it?

Oh, and, via email, Ray Jenkins has told me that his patent application number is GB0612361.6   which, as this handy search engine at the patent office tells me, is for:


Update again: I've now been furnished with the correct patent application number which shows:



We're getting out of my area here, I think I'll bow to Unity's view of the matter.
This has been tried a lot and we'll see if this is indeed effective or different.

December 4, 2006 in Scams and Frauds | Permalink


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Actually, Tim, statements of opinion can be libellous.

The law is such that the onus is on you to prove that what you've said is true, i.e. that Nikkogen is in fact a 'scam' and a 'fraud'.

Posted by: blamerbell | Dec 4, 2006 1:11:44 PM


"Nikkogen Ltd
South Wales
United Kingdom

Tel: 44-121-288-2058 (Direct)"

Well.. That looks really confidence-inspiring and "above board". An address that localises the company to "South Wales" and a telephone number that is allocated to "Skype In" ie a VOIP phone number, not exactly a "land line" as it needn't have any specific geographical location - anywhere with an internet connection will do, and that's anywhere in the *world*... I know, because I use a +44-121-288-xxxx number when I'm working in Spain in order to save my UK clents the cost of international calls, not to hide my whereabouts.

Posted by: pogo | Dec 4, 2006 1:19:15 PM

Blamerbell. I think you'll find that stating the various laws of thermodynamics is NOT libel, and the 'onus' is actually on the person/company stating that they have managed to produce energy in this way to prove that they have done so. What they are claiming is /impossible/ under current scientific understanding...

Posted by: zorro | Dec 4, 2006 1:29:45 PM

Tim, statements of opinion can be libellous, otherwise you could just add 'In my opinion' to any libellous statement.

On the other hand statements of fact can't be, so I suspect you can relax.

Posted by: Matthew | Dec 4, 2006 1:45:53 PM

Tim, unless you prove them to be true, statements of opinion can be libellous if they're damaging to the person/company's reputation and not deemed to be "fair comment".

The best example off the top of my head, which I think comes from Writing For Journalists, is someone reviewed an album by an ex boyfriend and claimed that the chap's sense of rhythm hadn't improved. She was sued and lost.

Posted by: Chris | Dec 4, 2006 2:03:14 PM

Yeah - British libel law is sometimes surprising. The actor Steven Berkoff successfully sued Julie Burchill for saying that he was hideously ugly, which I would have thought was a statement of opinion rather than fact.

Mind you, Robertson and Nicol's Media Law says that Article 10 of the Human Rights Act may change British libel law for the better. It pains me to say any good of the HRA, but they may be right.
Meanwhile "public interest" is a defence, and Nikkogen still haven't pointed us in the direction of that publicly available patent application, have they?
Then there's the matter of Nikkogen falsely implying that you have withdrawn your earlier views.

Posted by: Natalie Solent | Dec 4, 2006 2:42:16 PM


Why would a compnay in South Wales have a Birmingham phone number?

Tim adds: Could be a Skype incoming one. My own UK number is 0121.

Posted by: Martin | Dec 4, 2006 2:59:38 PM

>>> Why would a compnay in South Wales have a Birmingham phone number?

>>> Tim adds: Could be a Skype incoming one. My own UK number is 0121.

That's my thinking - the area code after the 0121 is not assigned geographically to an area of Brum.

Posted by: Unity | Dec 4, 2006 4:01:54 PM

I may take a run through the physics of this when I have time, to explain my scepticism in some detail.

Suffice to say that some of the maths in fluid dynamics even scares the hell out of the particle physics guys...

Posted by: Unity | Dec 4, 2006 6:55:46 PM

So what is it? Is it what is known as a Stirling Engine?


Posted by: Matthew | Dec 4, 2006 7:13:42 PM

It's possible power input might come from a sterling engine of some sort, but the wikipedia article puts that in perpective in nothing that Southern Electric have had to order 20000 solar powered units, which will cover an area of 4,500 acres, to generate 500 megawatts.

Posted by: Unity | Dec 4, 2006 7:55:06 PM

But when you say "I may take a run through the physics of this when I have time" is there a detailed explanation somewhere? I could only find (on the patent site) the bit Tim quotes?

Posted by: Matthew | Dec 4, 2006 8:21:08 PM


I'm not a Skype user - thanks for clearing that up.

I might not be very technical, but I do have considerable experience of preparing and conducting litigations.

OK, say Jenkins might want to sue you.

There are a couple of practical matters which must be attended to even before we start considering arguments on whether or not libel can be constituted by the expression of opinion.

First thing he has to do is find you, in order to serve an action.

Second thing he has to do is declare an address, in case you might wish to lodge a counterclaim against him for the losses your businesses have incurred as a result of the time you have required to spend dealing with Mr. Jenkins's apparently vexatious and irrelevant demands.

At this point, a memo to Jenkins might be in order -

To Jenkins - let's see how strong your hand is, Boyo.

Let's see you declare the precise nature of your business; and provide a full account of your business practices.

Let's see you explain why the product you sell does not appear to be the same product as that which bears the patent number which you claim relates to your own.

Let's see you open your books to determine if, in the event of litigation proceeding, T. Worstall, Esq. might feel it necessary to ask the court to demand caution (kay-shun) for his expenses from you.

Let's see you take the time, incur the hassle and above all else spend the money necessary in order to raise a libel action.

Jenkins, successful libel applicants usually have to come to the court with clean hands. Don't you realise that there is no skeleton in your cupboard that interested bloggers can't find out?

What's your company registration number?

VAT number?

Have all your quarterly VAT returns been in on time?

When was the last time you filed a tax return?

Ever been convicted of drunk driving?

Been disqualified as a company director?

Been to prison?

Don't ever threaten litigation unless you're prepared to see it through; and don't ever, ever threaten libel as a means of stopping people saying things about you you don't like.

Either sue, or take a three-cornered flying one to yourself.

My money's on the latter.

Tim, unless I'm greatly mistaken that should be the last you hear from Jenkins.

Posted by: Martin | Dec 4, 2006 9:53:27 PM

Is this any help?

Name & Registered Office:
SA12 8AD
Company No. 05922716

Status: Active
Date of Incorporation: 01/09/2006

Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Company Type: Private Limited Company
Nature of Business (SIC(03)):
None Supplied
Accounting Reference Date: 30/09
Last Accounts Made Up To: (NO ACCOUNTS FILED)
Next Accounts Due: 01/07/2008
Last Return Made Up To:
Next Return Due: 29/09/2007

Posted by: Political Penguin | Dec 4, 2006 10:45:35 PM

What's the betting that

SA12 8AD

is Jenkins'home address?

Do we have any offers?

Posted by: Martin | Dec 5, 2006 12:04:50 AM

MArtin - Looking on Streetmap.co.uk it looks like a vaguely industrial area, and googling the postcode there's a few other businesses there, so probably not. They aren't listed on 192.com or anything though (I was trying to find a proper landline).

Posted by: Chris | Dec 5, 2006 11:11:00 AM

And searching the Patent Office Database returned this:

"0 results found in the Worldwide database for:
Prime Mover System in the title AND Nikkogen as the applicant
(Results are sorted by date of upload in database)"

Posted by: Chris | Dec 5, 2006 11:14:54 AM

The patent's registered under R F Jenkins, not Nikkogen as a Fluid Wheel Drive System.

He can't patent the 'Prime Mover' as this is subject to an existing patent - a Prime Mover is nothing more than an electronic torque management system used in power generation to increase efficiency - think in terms of a traction control system in a car and you'll get the basic principle.

I've done the physics, it's here:


For some reason I can't fathom, WP 2.05 does not seem to like sending trackbacks to typepad - why I don't know as they work okay from one WP site to another.

Posted by: Unity | Dec 5, 2006 11:36:37 AM

I couldn't find that either. Is it definitely there?

Posted by: Chris | Dec 5, 2006 12:20:56 PM

It is a new application - filed in June - so it only appears on the UK patent office system in its monthly journal, which just lists new applications without giving any further detail.

So although it's been filed, it hasn't, strictly speaking, been published as yet, which it will have to be at some point to permit challenges under pre-existing patents or prior-art.

Posted by: Unity | Dec 5, 2006 1:13:17 PM