Settlement ends a two-year legal dispute
Update: 3D Systems to collect 8% royalty on Formlabs sales.
Two years after being sued by 3D Systems for patent infringement, Somerville, MA based Formlabs has settled.
As SPAR reported when the case was filed, 3D Systems claimed that the “the sale and use of the Form 1 3D printers sold by Formlabs and Kickstarter infringe a U.S. patent relating to stereolithography. Formlabs sold the Form 1 3D printers to backers of its Kickstarter campaign in September and October 2012.”
Stereolithography, in contrast to other types of 3D printing, shoots an ultraviolet laser into a vat of liquid resin to solidify the resin. Its advantages include its speed and the size of the parts it can manufacture, which may reach up to 2 meters in length. Formlabs has been notable for popularizing the process in desktop printers.
The story was originally reported by TechCrunch.
Gigaom notes that these kinds of patent cases are often a “tricky subject,” for 3D printing companies, as many “started out as open source projects more interested in providing makers with hackable machines than making money (MakerBot, the best known desktop 3D printer maker, is one example).”
In conversation with the Boston Business Journal, a spokesman for Formlabs declined to comment on the settlement. Instead, he noted that “When this lawsuit started, we were barely a company. We were a few people with a successful Kickstarter. Two years later, we’re almost 100 people, we’ve sold thousands of printers, and we distribute around the globe. It’s really great to move beyond the lawsuit and focus on building really important products people love.”
See the settlement below.