3dprintingindustry.com Addresses Pre-Issuance Submission Project

3DPRINTINGINDUSTRY.COM | Insider Insight — Fighting the 3D Printing Patent Applications | June 3, 2013 | 3dprintingindustry.com featured an article by the Cyberlaw Clinic’s own Kit Walsh about work that the Clinic’s done with the Electronic Frontier Foundation to file pre-issuance submissions with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  The ongoing project has identified examples of prior art relevant to patent applications that concern 3D printing technology.  Kit’s article responded to a previous piece by attorneys John F. Hornick and Anita Bhushan of the Finnegan IP law firm in Washington, DC, in which Mr. Hornick and Ms. Bhushan criticized the Clinic’s and EFF’s work and noted the possibility that it might lead to fewer, stronger, and narrower patents in the 3D printing space.  “If giving examiners relevant prior art would reduce the ‘number and breadth’ of patents,” wrote Kit, “that means they are currently issuing overly broad, invalid patents because they do not know about critical information that’s been published . . . .  One can debate whether existing patent laws stifle and punish innovation more than they help, but it should be uncontroversial that it is a bad thing for the patent office to grant an overly-broad patent due to ignorance of critical prior art.”

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