Legal trouble for 3D printer company Formlabs: The MIT spin-out is being sued by EnvisionTEC for patent infringements.
Just some weeks ago, Formlabs closed an impressive $35 million series B funding. Also, it announced a strategic collaboration with Autodesk for 3D design software. But there’s an old saying in venture business: Once you’ve got the money, you’ll better spend some of it to defend it.
This case just became true the makers of the great SLS 3D printer Form 2. They are being sued by EnvisionTEC for possible patent infringement.
In the complaint, EnvisionTEC asserts that Formlabs’ 3D printers infringe upon two patents held by EnvisionTEC. They issued a statement about its patent infringement lawsuit filed against Formlabs of Somerville, Mass., in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. CEO Al Siblani states:
“EnvisionTEC has been inventing, developing, manufacturing and selling 3D printers, materials and other related technologies and services for nearly 15 years. Today, we hold numerous patents around the world covering a variety of our 3D printing products, methods and more. This intellectual property was researched and developed over many years by our innovative team of professionals and is invaluable to our business serving a variety of medical, professional and industrial markets around the world. We are committed to aggressively protecting our intellectual property in accordance with the laws of the countries in which we operate.”
The Second Lawsuit in 4 Years
It’s the second time Formlabs has been hit by a lawsuit in just four years. 3D Systems sued them for patent infringement related to their laser-based stereolithography techniques (SLS) in 2012. The lawsuit was dismissed in December 2014.
EnvisionTEC is a provider of professional-grade 3D printing solutions. Founded in 2002, they were pioneering commercial DLP printing technology (which differs in some aspects from SLS technology Formlabs are using). Today, their product range offers more than 40 printers based on six distinct technologies that build objects from digital design files. Their printers are mainly sold to medical, professional and industrial companies.
EnvisionTEC’s complaint seeks injunctive relief prohibiting Formlabs from continued infringement as well as remedies in the form of monetary damages for past and current infringement.
So far, Formlabs hasn’t responded to the new allegations – we’ll will keep you updated.
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