Patent Issues

From: Yakov Horenstein (
Date: Thu Jan 18 1996 - 22:58:58 EET

E. Derek Smith wrote:

>Also, has anyone heard about a new 3D recoating system? I recall a lawsuit
>a couple of years ago with the EOS(??) people concerning patent
>infringements. I believe the system in question had an "active" recoating
>system, incorporating technology that may have a profound impact on build
>cycle time and trapped volume success. What have the development engineers
>and lawyers done with all this? Any info?

I'll leave it to people more qualified than me to address the technical
issues you raise, but I can tell you that a few days ago I received a
communication from the International News Service of Stockholm, Sweden,
dated 22nd December 1995 which states that 3D Systems have had one of three
patent requests granted by the European Patent Office (EPO), the decision
on the other two having been deferred. The patent (no. EP361847) which was
granted to 3D Systems concerns the action of the wiper blade which smoothes
the surface of new layers of liquid resin as they are added, while the
other two patent requests awaiting ratification concern 1) certain issues
regarding the fabrication of support structures during the construction
cycle and 2) the "deep dip" method in which a growing part is lowered into
the vat of liquid resin in order for a new layer to flow across the top

The communication does not mention EOS GmbH by name, but I think that this
announcement means that 3D Systems have won one of their patent
infringement suits against the German company. Quoting Charles Hull, the
communique adds that 3D Systems intends making a full claim for damages
from vendors and users for unauthorised use of their patented technology.

3D Systems now has had 4 European patents granted, with another 12 under
examination. In the US, the company has 41 patents, and more than 50 still
pending. In other countries 13 patents have been granted to 3D, with
another 40 in the pipeline.


Yakov Horenstein Tel/Fax: +39 2 2900 6208
Milano, Italy E-mail:

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