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  1. #1

    My Defense of MakerBot in Patent Issues

    I just wanted to let my voice be heard. I'm not a huge fan of Makerbot but I don think that what they are doing is not exactly their fault.

    Makerbot has 2 choices here. Either patent these designs which aren't already patented, or allow another company to do so. If another company patents these designs, then they can prohibit Makerbot from ever using them on any of their future 3d printers. However, if Makerbot patents them, they ensure that another competitor (i.e. 3d systems with cubify) doesn't patent it and hold them out of the market.

    If that were to happen, it would be very difficult for MakerBot to do anything about it.

    I highly doubt that Makerbot plans to use these patents to profit off of, or keep anyone from entering the market. They are doing it simply to protect their ability to use these currently unpatented designs in the future. Right now they are all free to use, since there are no patents on them. However, if Cubify (3d systems) came along and patented them, they could hold MakerBot ransom. Sure Makerbot could go to the courts and say that these designs were created by someone else but then that other person may be required to either patent the design or allow someone else to. They would be stuck in a catch 22, where the patent would either belong to the company that filed the patent, or the original filer, who may not even wish to file a patent for the design.

    I think Makerbot is getting too much heat for just protecting their future business model. Until we see them actually sue someone for using these designs, I think we should let them be.


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    Last edited by Dragons_Blood; 06-06-2014 at 07:04 AM.

  2. #2
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    I'm with you on that. The fault is in the process not the company. Patents are antiquated and no longer work as they were designed to. For over 30 years it has been invent then produce and sell if you want to win.

    The whole patenting system is now just for the big boys to rob the small guys, they patent what they can and if they can't patent it they ignore the patent and generally the little man who invents cannot afford to defend so doesn't patent his ideas. When two of the big boys fight over it the only people that make out of it are the lawyers, another waste of the earth's resources.

    What is needed is an open source patent library where you can patent and not use, with some public spirited patent lawyer giving his time free. Sadly "lawyer" and "free" seem to break the rules of English as I have never seen them in the same sentence.

  3. #3
    Marcus Alexander Link had a good answer on G+...

    'Either patent these designs which aren't already patented, or allow another company to do so."
    That assumption is false, claiming prior art would be possible in most of the cases. What actually is happening is, Makerbot is burning the bridges to defend the stolen ground. The 3DPrinting (FDM) hype was only possible because of expiring patents. 'MakerBot Industries' was only possible, because of the widespread support out of the OpenSource Community.

    +bre pettis is walking on thin ice, taking crowdsourced labour/work, making it the asset of a stockmarket traded company (#Stratasys). From a morally point of view, it is theft of common property for the benefit of the shareholders of a wall street traded company.

    Pettis clearly said, that 'OpenSource' 'is not working out (not sustainable) for MakerBot Industries. It is a 180 degree turn - betraying hundreds of people, who contributed their labour, ideas and time to OpenSource 3D printing.

  4. #4
    Dragons_Blood,

    1. Your post implies that makerbot will not use these patents to "profit by". Why have they not made a a public statement like that to clear up the confusion? There has been offers to help makebot protect themselves and the open source community at the same time with a RedHat like patent promise. http://www.redhat.com/footer/patent-promise.html
    Apparently that is not something makerbot wants to do.

    2. If makerbot only wants to protect itself from being locked out of using these designs is not a third option to put them in the public domain?

    3. Are they playing good cop/bad cop? Letting their parent company do all the patent lawsuits. http://www.forbes.com/sites/rakeshsh...s-sued-afinia/ so historically it has been shown that makerbots new parent company will not just use patents for defense but also offense. We can only assume the same moving forward for makerbot.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Dragons_Blood View Post
    Makerbot has 2 choices here. Either patent these designs which aren't already patented, or allow another company to do so. If another company patents these designs, then they can prohibit Makerbot from ever using them on any of their future 3d printers. However, if Makerbot patents them, they ensure that another competitor (i.e. 3d systems with cubify) doesn't patent it and hold them out of the market.
    https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/black-or-white

    Though it may simply be the honest mistake of not understanding the patent system.

  6. #6
    Just saw this:
    http://richrap.blogspot.com/2014/06/...source-3d.html

    This guy made a long blog post directly responding to you (Dragons_Blood).

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Roxy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesTuthill View Post
    Just saw this:
    http://richrap.blogspot.com/2014/06/...source-3d.html

    This guy made a long blog post directly responding to you (Dragons_Blood).
    That response makes a lot of sense! And it pretty much demolishes the position that MakerBot is Lilly White on this topic.

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