April 16, 2013

In March The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) announced that it has decided to partnered with Ask Patents, a project of Stack Exchange, to help find the best prior art.

Led by Julie Samuels, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has been working on identifying patent applications that could threaten to stifle innovation in the 3D printing community for some time now. Last week, EFF announced that it has worked with more partners, such as the Cyberlaw Clinic at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, as well as Ask Patents to find out those dangerous patents.

Now they have submitted documents on six pending patent applications that might threaten the growing field of 3D printing technology.

These dangerous pending patent applications are:

  • Fabrication of Non-Homogeneous Articles Via Additive Manufacturing Using Three-Dimensional Voxel-Based Models
  • Build Materials and Applications Thereof
  • Method for Generating and Building Support Structures With Deposition-Based Digital Manufacturing Systems
  • Process for Producing Three-Dimensionally Shaped Object and Device for Producing Same
  • Additive Manufacturing System and Method for Printing Customized Chocolate Confections
  • Ribbon Filament and Assembly for Use in Extrusion-based Digital Manufacturing Systems

Good news is, the Patent Office has accepted their submissions. Now we have to wait to see if these input could influence the examiners.

But EFF won't stop there, their next plan is to investigate pending applications for patents that impact mesh networking. As 3D printing is becoming more popular each day, some existing patents are used to assert infringement which could destroy a lot of small manufacturers. Startup Formlabs, is one of companies facing the patent infringement claims with their high-precision 3D printer.

It is good that EFF could help to protect the 3D printing technology in its early stage.



Posted in 3D Printing Technology



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