Oct. 25, 2012

Want a world with open access to 3D printing? Join EFF's efforts to fight bad patent applications that threaten new tech and keep 3D printing open.

The Problem

While many core patents restricting 3D printing have expired or will soon expire, there is a risk that "creative" patent drafting will continue to lock up ideas beyond the 20-year terms of those initial patents or that patents will restrict further advances made by the open hardware community. The incremental nature of innovation in 3D printing makes it particularly unsuitable for patenting.


The Project


The newly implemented Preissuance Submission procedure allows third parties to participate in the patent application process by creating a vehicle to provide patent examiners with prior art. This new process may help stem the tide of improvidently-granted patents.


EFF and the Cyberlaw Clinic at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society are working together to use this new process to challenge patent applications that particularly threaten growing 3D printing technologies. As a first step, we are evaluating 3D printing patent applications currently pending before the Patent Office to identify potential target applications.

If you know of any applications covering 3D printing technology that you think should be challenged, email EFF 3Dprinting@eff.org or go to the USPTO's application search tool, PAIR, and/or Google Patents. Each of these sources contains valuable details about the applications currently pending before the USPTO. So please do what you can to help protect the 3D printing community.


Posted in 3D Printing Technology



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