In conspiracy culture, and particularly in the "chemtrail" conspiracy community, it's common to use patents as a claim of evidence. This can come in the form of a single patent, but quite commonly you get long lists of patents that seem to have been generated simply by searching the database with terms like "aerosol", "spraying" and "airplane", without much reading of the contents (so you get patents for crop dusters, and lawn sprinklers). Geoengineeringwatch.org even lists a patent for measuring the amount of toner in a photocopier as evidence for chemtrails: You can generally debunk these by going through and pointing out the actual intended use of the patent, and indeed this has been done numerous times. But then there are a few patents that actually seem related to the chemtrail theory, such as patents for spraying aerosols into the stratosphere to block sunlight. So are these evidence of a secret spraying program? Are solar geoengineering patents evidence that solar geoengineering is happening now? No, and for several reasons - all of which being misconceptions about the way the patent system works. Briefly: Patents don't need to work in order to be patentable Even if they do work, they don't need to describe something that exists Patents are often filed speculatively Patents don't need to work in order to be patentable In the United States between 1790 and 1880, when you patented something you had to provide a miniature model explaining how your invention supposedly worked. However there has never been a provision in US law that an invention meets some kind of test of actually working. Current patent law requires only that the invention be useful for something, be a new idea, not be obvious, and be described well enough so someone could create or perform the invention based on the patent. So there are many patents that technically fit these descriptions, but are basically wild and crazy things that are either very bad ideas, or could not possibly work. One of the more famous examples of this is US 3216423, "Apparatus for facilitating the birth of a child by centrifugal force" - which is basically a circular table, to which a pregnant woman is strapped. The table is spun around, until the force of the spinning pops out the baby, which is then caught in a net. This idea was patented in 1963, but there is no evidence it was ever even built, and while it seems quite preposterous to most people, it seems it was patented by people who thought it might work. An even more improbable patent is US 6960975 "Space vehicle propelled by the pressure of inflationary vacuum state" Which describes a kind of flying saucer, propelled by bending the fabric of spacetime. The idea is not based on any existing technology, but instead is based on very loose extrapolations of ideas in various papers on theoretical physics. It's basically no better than the description of warp drives in science fiction. - There are plenty of similar patents for things like anti-gravity drives, and a "Full body teleportation system" ("A pulsed gravitational wave wormhole generator system that teleports a human being through hyperspace from one location to another.") and a "Tubular shaped interstellar space craft". Have these inventions been demonstrated to work? Clearly not. There are no full body teleportation devices, or warp drive flying saucers, or spinning baby extractors. Just because something has been patented does not mean it's a good idea, or that it works, or even that the underlying science is correct. It just means that someone had an idea, and they wrote it down in a way the patent office would accept. Even if they do work, they don't need to describe something that exists While the above patents are obviously ridiculous, or highly impractical, there are some patents that actually seem sensible. Yet we still know usages of the invention don't exist because they refer to situations that do not yet exist. The clearest examples of these are to do with manned space travel. There are many patents for interplanetary spacecraft, and for habitats for humans on other planets - and yet nobody takes this as evidence that there are people living on the Moon, or flying to Mars. Here's a 1992 example of a house on the moon which seems reasonably practical. And a more recent example of a rotating spacecraft designed to fly to Mars. Somewhere in between these is a patent for a Space Elevator - a stunningly ambitious method of getting things into orbit by literally building an elevator that goes up to a satellite. Somewhat like geoengineering, it it not a new idea - Space Elevator as a concept was invented in 1895 by Konstantin Tsiolkovsky (although his idea was very impractical). Ideas about global solar geoengineering date back to around the same time, with Svante Arrhenius suggesting (in 1905) managing greenhouses gases to create an optimal climate. The inventions above have also not been demonstrated to work in the real world, but they seem much more plausible than the previous examples, and they address things that people have been seriously talking about doing in the coming decades. So, like geoengineering patents, they could be used as evidence that people are thinking about doing something in the future, but, also like with geoengineering patents, they cannot be used as evidence that something is being done now. Patents are often filed speculatively, so do not demonstrate intent Not only are the patent filing requirements rather vague and somewhat subjective, the current patent system has been considered by most observer to have been effectively broken for many years. Patents are awarded for the most trivial of "inventions", and hundreds of millions of dollars often change hands over ideas a child might have - like buying something with one click, or allowing a user to dial a phone number by tapping it. People recognize there is a lot of money to be made from patents. So some people file patents not because they themselves plan to develop the technology, but because they think it's possible that someone else might develop it in the future, and then they can claim millions of dollars by licensing their patent. Patents just cost a few hundred dollars to file in the US (just $65 for the provisional application). This is called "Patent Trolling", and it's not just something that lazy individuals do. The flaws in the patent system force companies to patent every single thing they can think of, just so they will have a portfolio of patents they can counter-sue (or trade) with other companies - the current Samsung and Apple patent war being a good example. These large companies file thousands of patents every year. IBM filed 18 patents every day in 2012. Many of these are "just in case" patents for ideas that people in the company had. Speculation about what they might develop in the future, not necessarily what they are developing now, and almost certainly not something they have actually finished developing. And even if it works and there was some intent to use it, the vast majority of patents (95%) never even get used: http://www.wired.com/2015/01/fixing-broken-patent-system/ So Geoengineering Patents Don't Mean Anything So yes, there are geoengineering patents, and patents for houses on the Moon, and Mars spaceships. But it does not mean that geoengineering is happening now any more than it means that there are men on Mars. All a patent means is that the person or company who applied for that patent thought that they could either make money from the patent in the future, or they should add it to their patent portfolio, just in case they wanted to develop the technology in the future, or possibly use the patent to make a deal later. And even if you ignore all of the above, even if you continue to insist that patents are evidence of something, there's one more fundamental objection to the whole "patents as evidence" theory - if you wanted to do something in secret, then why would you let private companies patent evidence of that thing? Bottom line here? Patenting a thing does not mean that thing exists, or even that it works.