EFF is using a fairly new legal procedure called Preissuance Submissions to fight against patent trolls. That procedure allows third parties to participate in the patent application process by providing patent examiners with prior art, such as emails to public lists, websites, and doctoral theses.
However searching for pending applications and identify applications are very difficult. Therefore EFF has decided to partnered with Ask Patents, a project of Stack Exchange, to help find the best prior art.
Supported by Stack Exchange, the US Patent and Trademark Office, and the Google Patent Search team, Ask Patents allows anyone to participate in the patent examination process.
Ask Patents is tagged by keywords and classification. On its site, participants can search by patent application number. Every patent application on Google will include a link to discussion on Ask Patents. Google has also implemented an algorithmic prior art search utility that will be helpful to site participants.
Furthermore, participants can also ask and answer questions about the nuances of patent law or about specific patent applications.
The EFF aims to take advantage of the new Preissuance Submission process to challenge a number of dangerous patent applications. Some 3D printing companies are attempting to patent technologies for making profit for example charging royalty fees, according to EFF. And that will slow down the development of 3D printing technology.
They have posted three of them and have asked users to share any prior art that could help in identifying patent applications that threaten exciting and growing 3D printing technology.
Here's a list of the three patents:
- 3D Printing application "Process for Producing Three-dimensionally Shaped Object and Device for Producing Same" (13/503217)
- 3D Printing application "Additive Manufacturing System and Method for Printing Customized Chocolate Confections" (13/432424)
- 3D Printing application "Ribbon Filament and Assembly for Use in Extrusion-based Digital Manufacturing Systems" (13/530191)
If you happen to find any appropriate documents for the above patents, share and submit them before April 4, 2013. Once the best prior art is identified, EFF will submit it to the Patent Office.
Posted in 3D Printing Technology
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