What's the story with the Makerbot patent?


There seems to be no link from the article to here.

I have two questions in response to the broad allowance being given Makerbot and Bre:

  1. When was the last time Makerbot contributed a single innovation or work to open source 3D printing except for hype? I would argue that they haven’t given anything back for years, ever since they went completely closed source (not just a little as the article argues).

  2. What about all of the other parents filed? The article discusses one but people are upset about others. Terence Tam (who open sources his own work) makes a pretty good case in his piece at http://www.openbeamusa.com/blog/2014/5/22/stay-classy-makerbot

I think Makerbot is getting a pass because of its roots even though it has been been resting on them and distancing itself from open source for years now.


This isn’t even discussing things like Makerbot moving to proprietary spools for their filaments on their newest printers and other old school shenanigans.

Seriously though, Makerbot never contributes work back to open source but seems happy to mine it for its own profit. Patenting it just seems an inevitable extension of this.

I’m not even one of the FSF types that says everything must be free but it does seem terribly one sided and that they are getting a pass no one would give to any other company in the same circumstances.


Cory - I was curious why you refer to the patent application publication as a “patent” - you probably know this, but those are two different things. One doesn’t know which claims, and in what format, would ultimately issue, if any.

So, I suppose I understand teeth-gnashing amongst those who care, but it might be a little premature. (Though you can watch the upcoming interactions between the USPTO examiner and the people prosecuting the matter if you go to the Public Pair website. It’s at http://portal.uspto.gov/pair/PublicPair . After you pass the CAPCHA and type in the patent application number 14/064,613 you can see the Image File Wrapper. Again, probably stating the obvious, sorry!)

A fan of Boing Boing,

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