Has MakerBot Crossed The Line? For Some, Yes
Fabbaloo posted on May 29, 2014 |

makerbot, patent, fabbaloo

Controversy this week regarding MakerBot’s aggressive patent filings. Why the controversy? Because the concepts were originally donated by supporters in good faith to further the cause of 3D printing. And now MakerBot has patented them.  

Two examples of this pattern exist. OpenBeam reports their work on an auto-leveling system for RepRap printers has apparently been patented by MakerBot. Secondly, the Quick Release Extruder, originally designed by Thingiverse user Whosa whatsis, has also been patented. Whosa whatsis says on Google Plus: 

Oh &*%$ no. +MakerBot is trying to patent my work too.

There are likely other instances of this pattern occurring: innovative maker members of the MakerBot/Thingiverse community developing ideas that have subsequently been patented by MakerBot/Stratasys. Needless to say, the community is profoundly disturbed. 

It’s questionable whether MakerBot can actually do this, given that the designs were supposedly provided to Thingiverse via a Creative Commons license that prevents subsequent patenting.

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