Patent Trolls.... Some people are concerned about patent trolling and the affect it could

Patent Trolls…

Some people are concerned about patent trolling and the affect it could have on open source development.

I was wondering if there was a relatively easy defence against this practice.

I’ve always been told that if I have an idea I think might be patentable, then I should not discuss it with anyone because releasing the idea without non disclosure agreements could invalidate the patent.

I don’t know if this is true it may well be an old wives tale type of issue, but it occurred to me if there is any truth to it then it would be quite a simple process to publish any idea on the web and this would make it very difficult for a patient troll to hamstring any particular process or device.

For example I recently explained an idea where a 3D Printer could be produced for printing unlimited length items by replacing the y axis with two rails and fitting wheels to the printer so that it could move up and down the y axis, in theory any length of item could be printed.

Some good discussion about what could be done with this basic idea insude and I’m sure with some extra encouragement most of the avenues where this idea could be taken could have come out.

With a group properly motivated to thwart the patent trolls; people encouraged to present the most ridiculous and off the wall ideas they could think of in an effort to cover every conceivable avenue a patent troll might take.

Your observations criticisms and comments on this idea would be most welcome.

This is basically what the reprap blog was for. Get as many crazy, wacky ideas out there, so that nobody could patent them.

An obvious extension of your unlimited length idea is to add at least one dimension and go to unlimited area by going off the rails and onto wheels or some other type of motion system. For maintaining high quality, one could reposition a smaller high resolution manufacturing system along the rails, or in higher dimensional space, and then re-register the new coordinate system to the prior build area using a scanning or probing system. For increased efficiencies, multiple high resolution manufacturing systems, possibly depositing alternate materials, could operate in parallel by leveraging the coordinate system re-registering process.


@David_Forrest , dual high-dpi optical mice. Would make an amazing 2D servo, as it would be independent of wheel slippage, etc.

Yes, and… Other optical or imaging systems, like a high resolution camera or cameras, mounted on the individual high resolution manufacturing devices, or positioned within or externally to the manufacturing area, through processing in a computing system, may be able to accurately adjust the coordinate systems of the devices.

The manufacturing devices may be a mix of additive, subtractive (e.g.: milling, drilling, abrasive, etc…), or reworking devices (e.g.: heat treatment, burnishing, polishing, chemical conversion, deforming, recovery of support material, etc…), The coordination of the manufacturing devices may be centrally organized or a decentralized as befits the object being manufactured.

@David_Forrest That is kind of what that iRobot group was announcing in their patent application but on a larger scale. The issue is what stops the trolls from privatizing [pirating] ideas from here for their exclusive benefit.

Patient corrected!

I use speech recognition to write down what I say and it develops a new breed of typos as it were which are sometimes difficult to spot until you get to know what to look for!

Yes @William_Frick that is exactly the point.