The 3D Systems/Formlabs/Kickstarter lawsuit & Little Ol' Me
Tuesday (11/13) - my project went live, ushered in with wonderful press & all the excitement & anxiety of an expectant father having worked many many months preparing everything to launch.
Tuesday (11/20) - a patent infringement suit was quietly filed against a startup 3D printer company called Formlabs who coincidentally launched their dream machine right here on Kickstarter (& set the Technology category record while doing it). The company that filed suit is 3D Systems whose founder & CEO both participated in my "Join the Revolution" chorus at the end of my video presentation. They have also named Kickstarter in the lawsuit.
Wednesday (11/21) - Family arrives & I go into Thanksgiving holiday mode. That day the announcement of the lawsuit hits the news & blogosphere...I miss all of it.
Monday (11/26) - I awake from my Thanksgiving food & beer coma.
Tuesday (11/27) - A press release announcing the "Top Brass" participants in my project is issued worldwide. Later that day I read the news of the patent suit & start feeling sick.
Today - Wednesday (11/28) - I've read as much as I can humanly find about the lawsuit & as expected there is little to go on other than what is presented in the claim. It seems this lawsuit presents as many questions for 3D Systems as it does for Formlabs.
I am not a lawyer & I have no idea what's happening behind the scenes or of the overall validity of claims for either side. I can only say that my message of revolution is about empowering the individual & the technologies & networks which support that. The inclusion of all the big name players & brightest stars was intended to demonstrate a sense of community in the field.
So, I have decided to remove 3D Systems from my presentation. This is not an attempt to sway opinion or harm them in any way but rather to distance myself from looking like I'm making some kind of endorsement or have an affiliation without knowing all the facts, especially given the context, timing, & place where this is all playing out. With the press release already live I felt the need to leave a statement of reference.
While this whole thing is not directly about me, it has put me in a shit situation given what I'm professing as well as the integrity & credibility I wish to keep. This may illustrate better than I could have ever presented the need for supporting the "DIY Makers" & the technologies that enable their innovation & independence. Seems like this revolution may have some teeth but unfortunately it's already looking to feed on itself. Time will clear the field.
This in no way effects my ability to fulfill my obligations or otherwise provide any of the rewards for my project. Just want you all to know where I stand.