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Oh fuck no. +MakerBot is trying to patent my work too. 
A bearing that provides contact force to engage a filament with a drive gear has a movable axis that can be controllably moved toward and away from the drive gear in order to engage and disengage the
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Where's my surprised face? File a prior art argument ASAP. Makerbot is (as I predicted jokingly) becoming the Apple of 3D printing. Le Sigh. 
 
This:
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:7129
published Mar 19, 2011 on their own damn ThingiVerse site (by me) has these features:

"A bearing that provides contact force to engage a filament with a drive gear has a movable axis that can be controllably moved toward and away from the drive gear in order to engage and disengage the filament. A bearing is spring-biased toward the drive gear, and a bistable lever mechanism is provided with a first stable position in which the bearing is engaged with a filament and a second stable position in which the bearing is disengaged from the filament."

So much for thoroughly searching for prior art and obvious solutions.
 
there is a website that you can submit prior art for patents. I suggest you do this asap.
 
Its just application right? Cant you do something to prevent from makerbot getting patent. What happened in past when someone tried to get patent on creative commons
 
So do a bunch of us send published photos of our printers using this description to demonstrate it is already common practice?
 
That is what i was thinking too... Here is the thing. It was posted on Thingiverse so they do reserve some rights, i think that this is a terrible abuse of those rights (if they are assuming that is part of those rights) and just to be safe, i will be no longer posting any updates or new models to thingiverse. Make sure that you file a prior art complaint....
 
Basically you get some undefined grace period (im guessing 20 days by the looks of it) before anything you post and can prove invention of can be patented by patent trollers , like vaderbot.
 
Curious how long before that blog post goes away...
 
"After extensive testing, we’ve decided that this approach is too good to ignore." Yeah they paid careful attention to it ;) 
 
Honestly I think you and collection aught to be rewarded a patent just for merit at their expense. 
 
+Whosa whatsis note however that the patent reform of a few years ago changed the policy from first-to-invent to the first-to-file principle, which makes it irrelevant who the original inventor is. 
 
Sue them Joseph. Take them to court, make them understand how UNCOOL This is before they get too bold in their actions
 
There is literally nothing I can do to give makerbot the benefit of the doubt in this case.
 
So, it looks like this particular patent is specifically on a version of this design with a bistable release lever. Mine did not have this, but there are plenty of examples, like the Misery Pusher linked by +Brent Crosby above, that have this feature.
 
I haven't seen designs that are bistable like that before though, anyone care to point out some?
ThantiK
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Also up on Slashdot now. Submitted to hackaday as well, hoping they put it up for discussion amongst makers. 
 
I'm curious how much of this is Makerbot being shitty, and how much is really +Stratasys Incorporated.

MBI supposedly gets to be autonomous for a while despite the buyout, but I wouldn't be surprised if SSYS strong armed them into this patent play, since it would be impossible by the time their autonomy ends.

In any case, fuck 'em.
 
I see why you don't post on Thingiverse anymore...
 
The bistable loading design certainly isn't novel, IMO.  I anticipated it, and I'm sure others have as well.

I had the idea to do the same myself (though I never got around to prototyping one) -- having worked in the IT industry from back in the days of PC/XT/AT days, the bistable toggle mechanism was well known -- and it was pretty obvious to me that it would be useful. to have a toggle mechanism for engaging and freeing the filament.
 
First to file isn't the problem. The problem stems from using creative commons and publishing your work without an NDA, but that is besides the point. Your problem is also your solution. Pantent Law requires that an invention be "new and novel", nonexistent to the public before the application date. If you posted your idea in a public place the issue should be presented to the ISPTO. If they (makerbot) do not site your idea and prove they created it before the posted date, then the patent 'could' be deemed invalid.
 
Yeah  - publication via Creative Commons should be enough to establish prior art.  First to file doesn't ensure that MBI will get the patent simply because they filed it first.  The usual tests, including prior-art, will help determine if a patent can be issued.
 
The issue is that the patent office is ill equipped to deal with technical patents. It's not like they do a Google search and find that there is prior art. These patents are barely even human readable, so how can you decipher them to determine if it is new or novel.
 
Maybe someone who understands patents better can shed some light, but it's also my understanding that patents are required to include citations of the filer's own use of the mechanism prior to filing the patent, which I did not see when I read the application. It could be that the patent application invalidates itself?
 
Correct - you are supposed to cite as much known prior art as possible.  
 
+Jan Wildeboer Is this not walid in USA? "Conditions for a patent In order for your invention to go to patent it must meet certain conditions. The invention must be new, involve an inventive step and capable of industrial application. News The invention must not be known already when you submit your application. It does not matter how, by whom or where in the world it has been made known. The invention is counted as known even if it is you who has used or published it. Inventive With inventive step means that the invention must differ essentially from all that is known. The solution may not be obvious to someone skilled in the invention of technology. This means that new ways of combining known methods or objects are not necessarily patentable." translated from the swedish patent office website.
 
See http://www.bitlaw.com/source/35usc/101.html and http://www.bitlaw.com/source/35usc/102.html where you find the relevant parts. The main difference between the EPT (European patent treaty) and US patent law is that they (the US) do not require industrial application. 102 also tells you about the 12 month prior to filing for relevant prior art.

Worth noting is that in both US and EU patent examiners use limited sources to search for prior art. They logically miss a lot of information we typically know about.

Also note that web pages are not acceptable most of the time as it cannot be garantueed to not have been changed etc. 
 
We should really come up with a standard way to document our designs that will give better proof of the date... Problem, producing something that's difficult to forge is difficult to make legitimately as well.
 
Github? A site like thingiverse that is ran by honorable folk?
 
That's still a web page. You and I know that it's not designed to let you back-date things, but that doesn't necessarily mean the USPTO does. I hope this doesn't mean we actually have to distribute things on thin slices of dead tree in order to get the USPTO to accept them.
 
"A site like thingiverse that is ran by honorable folk?"

FYI, Thingiverse.com is a Makerbot property.
 
There needs to be a Not For Profit organization that physically prints open source project documents and mails them to a storage facility for reference. This is a common way to prove without a doubt that something was invented at a certain time. But it's difficult to know what from the open source community is worth printing for this purpose.

Proposal: a web service for the open source community for submissions of public inventions and source material, to be formatted and compiled in a common way. After this is built, have a discussion with the EFF or someone similar to see if they would support an effort like this. Printing could be done through Lob.com API, and there are lots of storage possibilities. 

Donations would be suggested on each submission of source material, via Stripe or Bitcoin, to be managed by EFF.

Thoughts?
 
I think I will stick to posting Star Wars figures on there then, let them try and patent those.
 
+Michel Satoer Yes, that is another great example of a bistable quick release, and needs to be reported as prior art.
 
As far as I know, US patent examiners only search filled and granted US patents (including provisionals, which are a way to tell the patent office about your prior art cheaply and quickly while you work on your official application) for prior art. They do not search the internet, tech journals or anything else for it.
 
If I may revise and simplify a little bit my last comment as I understand it.
1) Patent examiners are not required to check any sources other than US patent applications (provisional and full) and granted applications for prior art in determining whether to grant an application.
2) I don't know if the examiners are permitted to themselves check for prior art via google, etc. or if it must be supplied by the applicant or by the public (as people have been doing for the last two MB patent applications to publish)
3) If a company is granted a patent on something that was published as prior art, informing the patent office of that prior art at that point does not nullify the patent, it would have to go to litigation (money money money). This is why it's all the more important to file the prior art claims before grant.

So much for simplifying. Should disclaim this with IANAL.
 
USPTO examiners are quite allowed to search for prior art.  

However, prior art does not always eliminate patentability (although it does in most cases).  There is something called the "market acceptance test" that can sometimes be used to argue for a patent of what might have a prior art precedence.
 
Entiendo que causa una gran desazón ver la obra de uno con el nombre de otro autor, pero eso ha pasado siempre y seguirá pasando. Creo que lo mejor es aprovechar la experiencia propia, mejorar, y andar siempre unos pasos adelante de la competencia. Hay que tener mucho tiempo y dinero (y mucha suerte) para llevar adelante un litigio legal, sobre todo cuando es contra una empresa poderosa que tiene personal dedicado a manejar estos conflictos.
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+Camerin hahn  "It was posted on Thingiverse so they do reserve some rights...i will be no longer posting...to thingiverse."
Not that I love them, BUT, Thingiverse reserved rights are
"to reproduce...solely for the purposes of including your User Content in the Site and Services." posting on Thingiverse does not give them ANY rights to use/abuse/patent your/our designs, nor do they claim any such right. The whole Occupy Thingiverse was a dummy spit (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=dummy%20spitter). This, in terms of another Thingiverse 'occupy' (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:338780) is just another.
Makerbot may be doing nasty things, so have a go at Makerbot. IMHO they do not get any significant advantage from Thingiverse, while it does contribute to the general community. Business is a hydra, deal with the one you have issues with, otherwise unplug everything and dig a hole.
As I said elsewhere, the patent is not a good look, but have issues with it. Don't dummy spit.
(I fully expect to be castigated by some of the emotive free radicals out there).
 
+Michael AtOz I left my models on the page, added some information about where i will be doing further development and links to why i left. I don't plan on removing any models from thingiverse, but i don't plan on adding any new models there.

Removing models is a BAD idea. I breaks links, and prevents people who want to find your model from finding it. Moving them and placing external links is the right course of action for migrating. 
 
+Jan Wildeboer If it was really the apple of 3d printing their products would actually work correctly.  After spending $3600 on the new gen5 they have had to send me 3 (THREE) "smart" extruders because they keep jamming.
I'm actually removing content from thingiverse right now.
 
http://www.google.com/patents/US6568578    Mar 2, 2001
A filament feeding apparatus for providing filament to a hotend that includes a motor, a driver roll, an idler roll and a bias controller. The bias controller is configured to bias the filament contacting portion of the idler roll towards the filament contacting portion of the driver roller. The bias controller is preferably moveable between at least a first preset condition and a second preset condition. In the first preset condition, the bias controller produces a first engagement force on the portion of the filler filament that is located between the filament contacting portions of the idler roll and the driver roll. In the second preset condition, the bias controller produces a second engagement force on the portion of the filler filament that is located between the filament contacting portions of the idler roll and the driver roll. Preferably, the first engagement force is greater than the second engagement force. More preferably, the bias controller is also moveable to a third preset condition, wherein the idler roll is distanced from the driver roll. In a modified arrangement, the bias controller can move only between the first preset condition and the third preset condition.

Don't get too excited. I replaced “wire” with filament and “welding gun or touch” with hotend.

See Figure 3. item 110. Lever with 3 positions engagement force 1, engagement force 2 and “open” position.  Or can be used with 2 positions having engagement force 1 and “open” position.
 
I don't know if people are aware. It looks like information was attached to the patent application on May 30, 2014 from a document that claims it was filed on October 28, 2013.  It mentions your extruder, Rich, on thingiverse as part of the 14/064,613 application under Non-patent Literature. 

http://portal.uspto.gov/pair/view/BrowsePdfServlet?objectId=HVTZKYCIPXXIFW3&lang=DINO
(Not sure if this link will be valid for everyone else since I had to go through a captcha.)

So it looks like Makerbot did try to disclose these as prior art but it just wasn't put online yet. IANAPL and I'm not familiar with when the site applies dates on uspto.gov so I don't know if what I'm saying is correct.
 
(link doesn't work, need to go PAIR in left menu do the captcha enter the patent no. then Display References Tab)
It lists 8 Extruder Things (Gregs, Wades, emmetts, MiseryBot, jonashuehling, emili, whpthomas, whosashatsis) [Thing No's 8252, 7129, 18379, 24559, 42250, 15718, 6713, 28241] and Wades at reprap. It lists published dates (a sample of 2 are correct) and many have lots of pages listed, so I presume it includes all comments.
You can't download the specific NPL documents, need to ask in writing, but I presume it is a dump of the Thing.
BTW all those Occupy-ers who removed designs, that history is gone now... (found a few listed when I searched)
 
One level of documentation would be to use the Wayback Machine https://archive.org/web/     There is a a Save Page Now section.  Just paste in the URL and the page will be archived.  It would work best the day you post your design.   But now after the fact it is still useful to make another copy.  For example archive all your thingiverse design pages not because you are going to remove them, but what if someone else does.
 
Well if you're gonna raise an old thread...

Did anyone fight the patent?
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