[linux-elitists] EFF and Partners Challenge Six 3D Printing Patent Applications

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Tue Apr 16 04:03:01 PDT 2013


EFF and Partners Challenge Six 3D Printing Patent Applications

If there's something that drives us crazy, it's when patents get in the way
of innovation. Unfortunately, we often don't find out about the most
dangerous patents until it's too late—once they've been used to assert
infringement. That's why we were encouraged by the new provision of the
patent law that allows third parties to easily challenge patent applications
while those applications are still pending.

But, here's the rub: it's hard to identify those dangerous applications. And,
once you do, it's even harder to find the right information to challenge
those applications during the window that the law allows. So we partnered
with the Cyberlaw Clinic at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society
and Ask Patents and—most importantly—you.

As of today, we've now challenged six pending patent applications that you
helped us identify as applications that, if granted, would particularly
threaten the growing field of 3D printing technology. Harvard's Cyberlaw
Clinic hand delivered the first two submissions to the Patent Office earlier
this year, and we've since sent in four more.

The prior art we’ve submitted so far thanks to your submissions ranges from
patents and blog posts to research papers and symposium proceedings. Each
prior art document gives the Patent Office tools to reject patent claims for
obviousness. That in turn helps protect the diverse, exciting uses of 3D
printing that are gaining in popularity each day, from small hobbyist
printers to large-scale, high-quality commercial fabrication using materials
ranging from titanium to chocolate.

Here are copies of what we submitted to the Patent Office. The good news is
that so far, the Patent Office has accepted our submissions (because of that,
if you're thinking of making your own preissuance submissions, you might want
to use these as a model). Now we wait to see whether our input influences the

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 (Ask Patents request for prior art)

Additive Manufacturing System and Method for Printing Customized Chocolate
Confections (Ask Patents request for prior art)

Ribbon Filament and Assembly for Use in Extrusion-based Digital Manufacturing
Systems (Ask Patents request for prior art)

Our work doesn’t stop here. Next we’re going to investigate a number of
pending applications that impact mesh networking technology—another area with
an extremely active open development community and with tremendous potential.
We’ll be asking you to help us again soon. Stay tuned!








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