Oh oh - we're now seeing major lawsuits flying in the 3D printing industry for perhaps the first time. EOS, the Munich-based manufacturer of laser sintering 3D printing gear, has filed suits against Phenix Systems of France.
Apparently this scenario began when Phenix produced their PXL, PXM, PXS and PXS Dental 3D printers, all of which use lasers to sinter parts from powder. Evidently EOS believes this is a violation of their patent and we suspect they may have a case here.
We'll be watching to see how Phenix reacts here. If the suit's allegations are genuine, then Phenix has few options: abandon those products (and likely their business) or license the technology from EOS at a cost demanded by EOS.
Does this mean that lawsuits are now the rule among 3D printer manufacturers? Now that the 3D printing space has grown large, will others come forward and submit lawsuits for alleged infringements? We suspect there are quite a few violations in play, particularly in the 3D printer kit market, which has been largely ignored by the patent holders due to the limited size of the infringements.