3D Systems for infringing its patents relating to stereolithography – a technology more commonly known as 3D printing. The case highlights the importance for early stage businesses to carefully consider their IP strategies, as well as the IP position of competitors.
Kickstarter has been named in the suit alongside Formlabs, which used the online platform to raise funds to develop and market its proposed ‘affordable’ Form 1 3D printer. The project managed to raise over $2.9 million from ‘the crowd’, making it the most successful campaign to date in the website’s technology category.
Kickstarter employs a rewards-based model to help start-ups secure financing. In return for their pledges, funders are promised a gift, the value of which often corresponds to the amount of money pledged. Formlabs offered its Form 1 3D printer to anyone who pledged $2,299 or more to its crowdfunded campaign.
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