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"Kickstarter sued over 3D system" Topic

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1,377 hits since 22 Nov 2012
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GeoffQRF Inactive Member22 Nov 2012 3:19 a.m. PST


Crowd-funding website Kickstarter is being sued for its promotion of a new 3D printer.

More than 2,000 users contributed over $2.9 USDm (1.8m) to help Massachusetts-based Formlabs build the device.

However, 3D Systems – a leading maker of printers that turn computer design files into real-world objects – has alleged one of its patents was being infringed by the machine.

All alleged so far, but… ooops.

The Hobbybox Inactive Member22 Nov 2012 6:29 a.m. PST

Bigger company not happy with smaller company potentially disrupting their sales and virtual monopoly on a particular asset of the up and coming technology.

Bigger company wields big stick to make smaller company go away.

The End.

Chef Lackey Rich Fezian Inactive Member22 Nov 2012 6:29 a.m. PST

This kind of lawsuit pops up regularly with tech companies, and this is at least the scond time I've seen news of 3D Systems initiating a lawsuit this year alone. They're after the project organizers anyway – suing Kickstarter is about on par with suing a bank that gave out a business loan in the same situation, and about as unlikely to succeed. Most probable result is that KS decides it's not worth fighting and settles for a fraction of what they made on fees.

Dynaman878922 Nov 2012 7:03 a.m. PST

It will be interesting to see this play out. If the 5% that KS takes is considered a fee for using the KS service then I don't see how they can be forced to pay anything (other then legal fees, ahem). Then again I've been truly surprised before.

Mr Elmo22 Nov 2012 7:36 a.m. PST

You always do a shotgun lawsuit: in a car accident? Sue the other driver, car companies, GPS manufacturer, asphalt company, etc.

You never know what might stick.

Chef Lackey Rich Fezian Inactive Member22 Nov 2012 7:59 a.m. PST

Right – it's vaguely suprising they aren't trying to sue the individual backers.

Dynaman878922 Nov 2012 8:22 a.m. PST

> You always do a shotgun lawsuit: in a car accident?

When I was a kid my friend's mom accidently hit the back end of a line of cars – all the rest were stopped for a light. Not only did the guy sue my friend's mother (granted, he had a case there…) he sued EVERYONE in line between them…

Mako11 Inactive Member22 Nov 2012 9:13 a.m. PST

Hmmm, perhaps a class action lawsuit against the larger company is in order, since it is trying to stifle our ability to obtain low-cost, 3D printers from the startup company.

Seems to me they will be liable for that, especially if their suit is unsuccessful.

Is there a lawyer in the house?

CorSecEng Inactive Member22 Nov 2012 11:20 a.m. PST

They are technically suing the individual backers. They company only has money because of the backers and any settlements will have to be paid from that pool.

I hope Form 1 wins.

Space Monkey Inactive Member22 Nov 2012 11:58 a.m. PST

They should start a Kickstarter for their legal defense.

JohnnyBorg Inactive Member22 Nov 2012 1:13 p.m. PST

I want to buy a CHEAP 3D printer too, hoping they get down to $500 USD in the next couple years, but I'm not interested if the Bleeped text designing it is stealing someone's hard work. Don't care if they are small or large, you wouldn't feel that way if it was your patent being infringed upon. Sorry mates, I'm not marching to this sour tune.


altfritz22 Nov 2012 4:06 p.m. PST

I wonder how valid the patent is…"device for emitting light"? From what I understand the US patent office isn't very stringent when they determine how valid a patent is in the first place. Look at all the malarkey going on in the IT industry.

JohnnyBorg Inactive Member22 Nov 2012 5:37 p.m. PST

So very true altfritz. I can think of a better example. The idea that you can patent a "Collectible Card Game" is "Bleeped text obsurd. What Bleeped text makes a decision like that and how much was he paid under the table at the patent office?


striker822 Nov 2012 5:58 p.m. PST

I have an even better example of how screwed up the patent system is, aparently you can now patent basic geometric shapes. The patent system has been broken since the bureaucrats decided it was no longer their job to decide what is appropriate to patent as was intended when the office was conceived and they shoved the job off on the courts so they can just shuffle paper and charge their fees.

Personal logo javelin98 Supporting Member of TMP23 Nov 2012 2:52 p.m. PST

Ironic how an office established to foster innovation by allowing inventors to profit from their efforts has become a prime source of anti-competitive lawsuits, with megacorps like Apple leading the way.

CorSecEng Inactive Member23 Nov 2012 3:39 p.m. PST

I glanced at the patent. I didn't have enough time to digest it.

Patenting a Collectible Card Game is easy. You fill out the paperwork and provide the proper drawings. Some Patent office clerk reads it and signs off because he has no clue what a CCG is.

They have recently started allowing the general public to point out prior art. I bet 3DS gets theirs revoked. Thousands of hackers and makers are probably going to town digging up old documents that will prove prior art and make it void.

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