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Kickstarter, Formlabs sued over Form 1 3D Printer

updated 12:59 pm EST, Wed November 21, 2012

Claim by 3D Systems alleges patent infringement

A manufacturer of 3D printers is suing Formlabs and crowdfunding site Kickstarter for an alleged patent infringement. The suit claims that the Form 1 3D printer infringes on a US patent owned by 3D Systems relating to stereolithography, and comes less than a month after the printer finished its highly-successful Kickstarter funding drive.

Seeking injunctive relief and damages for infringement, 3D systems is adamant that Formlabs is using their intellectual property. "3D Systems invented and pioneered the 3D printing technology of stereolithography and has many active patents covering various aspects of the stereolithography process," said general counsel for 3D Systems, Andrew Johnson. While the company acknowledges that Formlabs may have been right in publicly saying certain patents it uses have expired, it believes that at least one is still in force today, and it intends to "enforce our patent rights."

It has been noted by AdaFruit Industries that Kickstarter has been included in the suit, despite only being the conduit for part of Formlabs' funding. The complaint holds Kickstarter to its Terms of Use, that companies using the service cannot submit content that infringes any patent, and that it should have noted this before allowing the funding to continue. If it were possible for Kickstarter to pull the $2.9 million in funding back, it would still leave Formlabs with around $3.3 million in venture capitalist funding.

Formlabs has yet to respond to the lawsuit.

by MacNN Staff



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