Sep 17, 2015 | By Kira

With the December trial date for the Stratasys vs. Afinia case fast approaching, the drama is heating up on a global scale. This week, Beijing Tiertime Technology, manufacturers of the UP! series of 3D printer, filed two patent infringement lawsuits against Beijing UCRobotics Technology. The complaints allege that UCRoboticsdistribution, sale, promotion and importation of the MakerBot Replicator 3D printers in China infringes two Tiertieme patents. They are seeking damages are economic loss and legal costs, and is asking the Court for an injunction against UCRobotics.

“As a 3D printer developer and manufacturer with specialized and advanced technologies, we pay close attention to the protection of intellectual propery rights and take a firm stand against IP infringements and other unfair competition activities,” said Tiertime CEO Alan Guo. “The lawsuit against UCRobotics is brought for the purpose of protecting Tiertime’s legitimate interests and the fair competition in the 3D market.”

It will be up to the Beijing Intellectual Property Court to decide if their allegations are legitimate. In the meantime, if we expand the context surrounding this case to get a bird’s eye view, we can see a clear correlation between the events taking place in China, and the ongoing North American lawsuit between 3D printing Goliath Stratasys and its mid-sized competitor Afinia.

Lets not forget that Stratasys owns Makerbot Industries and is therefore affiliated with UCRobotics’ actions in Beijing. In parallel, Afinia has licensed hardware for their H-Series printer from Delta Micro Factory Corporation, which is the original equipment manufacturer for UP! 3D printers and, as you may have guessed, and owned by Tiertime. In this international web of 3D printing patents, all signs point back to Stratasys and Afinia.

The Tiertime vs. UCRobotics case, then, could be seen as Tiertime stepping up to Stratasys’ by suing their Chinese distributor. Though we are unaware of a trial date for Tiertime vs. UCRobotics, we will be keeping a close eye on both lawsuits in order to see how this all plays out, and what the long-term effect could be on the 3D printing industry.


Posted in 3D Printing Company



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