We at the Cyberlaw Clinic are very excited to be partnering with EFF once again to take on overbroad patents. This time, we’re going after 3D printing patents, hoping to nip them in the bud by using a new procedure that allows us to intervene at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office before a patent is even issued.
Here’s how it works:
- With the help of the 3D printing community, we identify recently-published patent applications that are overly broad and likely to inhibit the crowd-based innovation that has made 3D printing accessible to ordinary people.
- Again with the help of the community, we identify prior art that will narrow or eliminate the claims that can be made by the patent applicants.
- We submit that prior art to the USPTO to assist their examiners in ensuring that undeserved patents do not issue, so that the open hardware community can continue to innovate amazing 3D printing technology.
The project launched yesterday with a blog post over at EFF, explaining the promise of 3D printing and some ways in which patenting has held it back. Please consult the project’s launch page to get in touch with us and let us know about applications that threaten open innovation in 3D printing.