How Patents Have Held Back 3D Printingby Mike Masnick
Feb. 01, 2012
1.Trump Foreign Policy Speech Signals Death of Neocons and Peace With Russia
2.The Guardian Says Correcting People On Their Grammar Is Racist
3.Anti-Trump Protester Pepper Sprays Little Girls in The Face
4.KKK Endorses Hillary Clinton, Say They've 'Given Her 20k' In Donations
5.WATCH: Trump Speaks After Crushing The CUCK Crew (Conservatives United For Cruz and Kasich)
6.German Nuclear Plant in Bavaria Infected With Malware, Logins Compromised
7.France: Video Shows Migrant Women Beat 16-Yr-Old Girl 'For Wearing A Dress'
8.England Bans Its Own Flag to Avoid Offending Muslims
The purpose of the intellectual property system that we have is to promote the progress. When there is strong evidence that certain elements of it hold back the progress, it seems like something that should be explored. Glyn recently wrote about the plans to make 3D object plan files available on the Pirate Bay. In that post, he pointed to a great interview with Michael Weinberg from Public Citizen, who had really been at the forefront of getting people to think about the legal consequences associated with 3D printing. However, there was also one interesting side note in that interview that didn't get nearly enough attention. It's that development and innovation has been held up for the last couple decades -- not because the technology wasn't available, but because of key patents that are apparently needed to build 3d printers. Those patents have started (but aren't entirely set) to expire, leading to the sudden interest and growing affordability of such printers.
We've seen this before, but here it's a modern example: work simply wasn't done on many of these efforts in part because there was no competition. And, in fact, there are still a few patents that really do hinder things, and this is a problem. Considering just how much good these 3D printers can do -- especially as they provide more power, do multi-color, and a variety of other features, it kind of makes you wonder just how much we've lost by having tons of researchers just sitting on their printer projects out of a fear of getting sued.