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Kickstarter and 3D printer outfit sued over patent

3D Systems has designs on crowdfunded rival
Thu Nov 22 2012, 11:53

A 3D PRINTER that was funded through the crowdfunding website Kickstarter has been sued over a patent.

Formlabs is being sued by 3D Systems, a firm that thinks one of its patents is being infringed.

The firm only completed its Kickstarter funding drive in October and by its fourth week on the website managed to raise $2,945,885. It initially aimed to raise £100,000 towards its disruptive 3D printing plans.

3D Systems has a patent on a method of 3D printing that can build up an item in staggered layered parts. According to the BBC it was awarded United States Patent No. 5,597,520 in 1997, and it has invoked this patent against Formlabs and Kickstarter.

In the filing, posted to Scribd by Priorsmart, 3D Systems accuses Formlabs of making, using, selling and offering to sell hardware that infringes the '520 patent.

The complaint suggests that the firm has "deliberately shield[ed] itself from learning of the '520 Patent", while being aware of "3D Systems' patented stereolithography machines" and having enough market knowledge to know that some other relevant patents had expired.

It describes this as evidence of "Formlabs' knowledge of, or its willful blindness to, 3D Systems' unexpired patents".

3D Systems also filed against Kickstarter because of its brokering role in raising money for Formlabs. µ


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