I'm worried that MakerBot is going to not just be some minor annoyance,

I’m worried that MakerBot is going to not just be some minor annoyance, but with the USA becoming “First to File”, they may soon become a detriment to the advancement of 3D printing entirely.

Drag and drop queue management?
Networked 3D printing?

Did Bre Pettis really invent these things…

It’s interesting that the whole First to File thing destroys sharing in creative communities because people are afraid their ‘free for the world’ ideas will be stolen, patented and free to no-one. So now if you want to share an idea, for it to be free to use you have to patent and then put out a non-exclusive license to anyone for non-profit/non-commercial use? Is there a way to streamline that process, which hasn’t already been patented?

@Jon_Caywood - I’ve had a (non-Lawyer) look into this from time to time and there do seem to be provisions for releasing/publishing intellectual property into the public domain without needing to file a patent to “protect” that public release. Someone like @Michael_Weinberg would be better qualified to comment on the details and make suggestions for how to go about (semi)formally doing so in a format that would be Recognized as prior art in patent analysis/validity circles

There may be a roll for the newly formed Open Hardware Association to play as well, as a more formal vehicle for documenting and communicating community-release intent.

Wow, I didn’t realise Makerbot was patenting up… Last time I checked, the one about their heated conveyor belt was the only patent they had.

Edit: HOLY FUCK! They really are patenting BotQueue’s and especially @OctoPrint 's features.

In theory BotQueue being open source should be an instance of “prior art” right?
I know the EFF is active in try to stop broad patents in the 3d printing realm.

And there I always dreamed about infringing patents, yay me :wink:

Considering all of these things exist on 2D printers already, would simply adding a 3rd dimension be worthy of patent? How can we cause a stir about this?

@scott_maher If I understand things correctly, prior art is not considered anymore when evaluating a patent (application). It’s all first come, first serve now.

@ThantiK Considering how many things became patentable by adding “on the internet”, I’d say all bets are off.

Oh God, this is so wrong … following @ThantiK idea, so, in this point of view we need to start adding axis or rotational extruder and call it 4D Printer … 5D ? … so how about all this opensource software that has been around for a while, does this count? Or just because it’s opensource you can ignore it! Some bad words just came into my mind, but all stop here …

@Thomas_Sanladerer I don’t think that is correct. According to http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2013/03/16/a-brave-new-patent-world-first-to-file-becomes-law/id=37601/ prior art still exists. The law (35 U.S.C. 102 (a)(1)) now reads: “A person shall be entitled to a patent unless—(1) the claimed invention was patented, described in a printed publication, or in public use, on sale, or otherwise available to the public before the effective filing date of the claimed invention…”

This suggests the best way to protect our community is by doing our own brainstorming and publishing of patentable ideas. If we make them available to the public before someone else files, then we have established prior art.

@Chris_Horton phew, i’m glad that i’m wrong on this one.
So what you’re saying is that those patents Makerbot filed are already invalid?

My understanding is that it depends on whether there was publicly available prior art.

I wrote to the EFF to see if they can provide us with some assistance here on how to establish our own prior art proactively.

I’ll say that this is the beauty of the the Reprap blog right, they’ve spent years posting every idea so that there is some establishment of prior art. Hopefully that is helpful in these situations.

That said I’m too angry to add much constructive at the moment, but when that passes I’ll try and be more helpful :slight_smile:

@Chris_Horton is right. The change to “first to file” only deals with things that were not publicly disclosed. However, the patent office examiners rarely look at anything other than past patents to determine prior art, and if MBI came after someone with patents based on prior art, it would require litigation to invalidate the patent.

I don’t imagine MBI will be able to do anything with any patents. As long as all the open source manufacturers say go fuck yourself every time they ask for royalties. However if they get royalties out of anybody the rest are pretty much screwed. Same for if it ever goes to court. If they win one case, even against some idiots like Japica, the rest will be easy for them.

printing queue exists for how many years already, now they just add 3d printing queue? it won’t get approval since the obviousness of the art.

The other big worry that I have, is MBI walking up and down the isles of these makerfaires, with a lot of awesome people doing a lot of awesome stuff, and patenting things that people have failed to document openly, etc.

@ThantiK Makerbot was at #makemunich , btw.

looks like patent wars are coming to town? is there a way community wise we can "patent"ly protect the freedom of the open ware?