Help Keep Hangprinter Free

Who am I?
I'm Torbjørn Ludvigsen, an open-source developer based in Sweden. I invented Hangprinter and donated it to the commons in 2014.
The US patent office has rewarded somebody else with the patent on Hangprinter. The patent gives its holders royalty rights on the same invention I donated to the commons eight years earlier.

The top image is a press image of Hangprinter circulating on 3d printing news sites a year before somebody filed the patent application, containing a copy essentially.
Hangprinter is a new way to manufacture houses and other valuable large-scale things. Keeping it cheap, open and royalty-free increases our chances of providing jobs and adequate housing for everyone. Hangprinter is meant to do just that. Unjustifiably broad patents like the one we're facing would set us back 20 years.
With the patent in place, we'd have to pay license fees to a tiny minority, gatekeepers of the stolen vital technology. Expansion and further development of Hangprinters won't happen unless the gatekeepers care to allow it. What should have become a bountiful forest instead becomes a single bonsai tree in a walled garden.

The image on top is from my blog before somebody filed the patent application containing the FIG. 4.
The Hangprinter Project is fully open source, and hundreds of people have donated tens of thousands of work hours to make it what it is today. Because of the patent, we all risk paying royalty fees to an outsider just for using our own invention.
But There's Hope
Their patent application underplayed how deeply similar it is to Hangprinter by providing old and thin references to Hangprinter. It also lacked references to at least four other very similar pre-existing machine designs. The lack of references to prior art misled (although possibly not intentionally) the patent office's examiners. By formulating our case and challenging the patent, we are highly likely to get it invalidated.
We need your support: please contribute and share this page now!
What are we trying to achieve?
Hangprinter wants to give people its valuable intellectual property for free so that they can build themselves a future without asking for permission. Cable-driven robotics will play a role in the future of manufacturing because it's simply cheaper to extend lines from tiny anchors than to build full-blown gantry frames out of tons and tons of steel.
What is the next step in the case?
We need a patent attorney's help to make the patent office re-examine the old patent application, comparing it with a newly finished and more complete list of prior art 
If that's not enough, we will gradually escalate our level of legal action while repeatedly asking the patent holders to withdraw their patent voluntarily.
We want the patent holders to join the open Hangprinter community. We will still welcome them. The patent holders will still get to use, develop, and sell Hangprinters. However, they must accept that others are allowed to do the same.
How much are we raising and why?
We need $60,000 to pay for attorney fees and patent office fees related to a re-examination of the patent application. The extensive list of prior art  we will include in the re-examination will significantly increase the probability of the patent being invalidated by its re-examiners.
How soon do we need the money?
We can challenge at any time during the next 20 years, but the sooner we get it down, the better for all startups that want to participate in the space of Hangprinting affordable housing.
How grateful are we for your contribution?
Hangprinter is my life work, and keeping it in the community's hands means a lot to me.
- tobben

Donations (431)

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  • Jenario Johnson
    • kr208 
    • 7 mos
  • Christian Kullander
    • kr200 
    • 10 mos
  • Anonymous
    • kr299 
    • 1 yr
  • Camillo Pietracatella
    • kr300 
    • 1 yr
  • Anonymous
    • kr524 
    • 1 yr
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Torbjørn Ludvigsen

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