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08.07.13

Patents on Designs One Can Print for Oneself

Posted in Hardware, Patents at 10:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

3-D printing

Summary: Design patents and the implication of those patents in the age of 3-D printing

Popular Science, a high-authority publication, has this new article about 3-D printing. It says that “New York lawyer Martin Galese has an idea. He’s turned drawings from expired patents into digital blueprints for 3-D printers. That means anybody can get his very own plastic hat holder, cup for drinking without spilling in bed, or combination pen-holder-bookmark (if you still have any paper books).”

“Just as the USPTO sort of criminalises some people who code in their bedrooms there’s this push to do the same to people who print in their bedrooms or garage.”Now that Apple has gone as far as asserting patents on rounded corners and some are trademarking colours (yes, colours!) we know that we have entered the crazy fantasy world of greedy patent lawyers who advocate patents on designs (which copyright law can already cover to a reasonable degree).

People should ask themselves, given the possibility of printing for oneself anything (like copying bits around or coding with no need for manufacturing, as in the case of software), why facilitate these artificial barriers? Just as the USPTO sort of criminalises some people who code in their bedrooms there’s this push to do the same to people who print in their bedrooms or garage.

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