Patent trolls, people or companies that enforce patents in an opportunistic manner, are sadly, a part of life these days. However, a recent partnership between the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Ask Patents is trying to limit the amount of damage that patent trolls can do to future innovation of 3D printing.
EFF and Ask Patents are asking the public to find documentation that proves a claim on a 3D printing patent is not original. The legal procedure the EFF is using is called a “pre-issuance submissions” and it, essentially, allows third parties to participate in the patent approval process by submitting “prior-art” rebuttals to a claimed patent.
But how will people find “prior-art” that can help stop a patent troll from patenting an overly broad idea? That’s where Ask Patent comes in.
Ask Patent is a site where individuals can submit documentations of prior art to patent applications that are overly broad in scope. After visiting the site, there already appear to be many submission to this project with many people seemingly concerned about being locked out of the future of 3D printing innovation.
For more information Visit the EFF and Ask Patent