While the small U.S. market for non-precious, laser sintered substructures seems to be gaining a bit of steam, it seems like two companies behind the systems capable of producing these additively manufactured parts may be headed for court.
While the small U.S. market for non-precious, laser sintered substructures seems to be gaining a bit of steam, it seems like two companies behind the systems capable of producing these additively manufactured parts may be headed for court. EOS, the worldwide leader in laser-sintering systems recently filed patent infringement claims against rival Phenix Systems who recently brought their PXS Dental laser sintering machine to the U.S. under the Additive Manufacturing Technologies brand.
Patent lawsuits are certainly a part of doing business these days, especially in the technology arena. While high tech has seen plenty of suits from companies that hold patents but make no products, this instance is a dispute between two companies actively producing products in the same marketplace. In a press release, EOS states that the company contacted Phenix Systems about the patents in question before Phenix hit the U.S. market with its laser sintering systems and is only filing the suit after Phenix went ahead with launching its technologies stateside.
Hopefully whatever resolution comes from this legal action does not in any way slow the development and further implementation of this exciting additive manufacturing technology.
Read the full press release below:
EOS FILES PATENT INFRINGEMENT AGAINST PHENIX SYSTEMS FOR VIOLATION OF EOS PATENT RIGHTS
Infringement lawsuit became necessary in order to protect EOS patent rights in the US
Chicago, April 12, 2012 - EOS, the worldwide leading manufacturer of laser-sintering systems, today announced that it has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Phenix Systems at the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. The lawsuit alleges infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 5,753,274 and 6,042,774 through the manufacture, sale and use of the PXL, PXM, PXS and PXS Dental product lines from Phenix in the US. During the second half of 2011, Phenix had announced the commercial manufacture, sale and use of exactly these product lines publicly, even though EOS had apprised Phenix of its patent portfolio several times. As a consequence, EOS filed the patent lawsuit against Phenix on March 5, 2012.
The Complaint against Phenix sets forth that Phenix is directly infringing, inducing others to infringe, and contributing to infringement of the 274 and 774 Patents in violation of 35 U.S.C. § 271. Phenix had actual notice of the existing EOS patent and despite such notice, has continued to engage in acts of infringement.
Johann Oberhofer, CFO of EOS, comments: “Filing this patent infringement lawsuit is an essential step in protecting our patent rights in the US. We hope that this litigation will quickly resolve the situation.”
EOS has patents granted for a considerable number of its own inventions in the field of laser-sintering. Today, the EOS patent portfolio includes more than 50 patent families worldwide. The company owns exclusive worldwide rights to all patents owned by 3D Systems Corporation applicable to the field of laser sintering which were filed prior to August 20, 2002.
EOS was founded in 1989 and is today the world-leading manufacturer of laser-sintering systems. Laser sintering is the key technology for e-Manufacturing, the fast, flexible and cost-effective production of products, patterns and tools. The technology manufactures parts for every phase of the product life cycle, directly from electronic data. Laser sintering accelerates product development and optimizes production processes. For more information visit www.eos.info.