Re: OBJET Patentability [Long]

Date: Fri Apr 21 2000 - 17:47:08 EEST


Mr. Hastabacka may indeed be prejudiced, but in fairness I have to say that I
have also discussed privately with a couple of people that there could be
siginifcant patent challenges to the Objet work in the US. And I am as pure
as the driven snow, if those years spent in high school and college are

There is more than one 3D Systems patent that has claims which seem to
interfere. There is also work from BASF, Brother Industries and others that
should be looked at carefully. In a previous posting I mentioned that NASA
also seems to have applied for patent(s) on exactly identical technology.
This is just what I can recall without really looking at any references.
More interferences can be found with diligence, I'm fairly certain.

Mr. Pettengill asked, "How does this happen?" Well, this happens for several
reasons. First and foremost, is that engineers seem to work in what amounts
to a perfect vacuum of information. There is something in our temperament
that forbids obtaining and using the knowledge that others generate. There
have been very few engineers I've worked with that look upon the work of
others without prejudice and as something to build upon, rather than a
porcelain receptacle of their contempt.

The second reason is that the patent system is very complex. You can get all
the recent patents on line, of course, but it takes more doing to really
follow a given field than you might expect. Searching out the 25 or 30
patents for RP that occur in a quarter from the 25,000 issued takes me
several days of diligent -and extremely boring - work. Plugging in a few
keywords doesn't do the job. [This statement was an ad for me and Al.]

Once you find those patents, discerning the differences and nuances in the
claims can be maddening and mystifying. You will come to wonder what goes on
at the PTO that allows seemingly identical claims to be issued multiple
times. You will print some claims out, lay them on top of one another, and
hold them to up the light of - not only scrutiny - but a 100 watt bulb, in
your quest to figure it all out.

Mr. Pollak asked, "Does this preclude the use of the technology?" Yes,
starting right after the injunction or the trial if the claims are found to

Ed Grenda
Castle Island Co.
19 Pondview Road
Arlington, MA 02474 USA
781-646-6280 (voice or fax) (email)

In a message dated 00-04-20 16:39:15 EDT, writes:

<< Does everyone know that is Al Hastbacka (Sanders
 who has already gotten flack for making comments about the Objet? Al may be
 correct about potential patent conflicts, but he is also involved in making
 and selling machines and might view the Objet as competition.

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