Hitherto Ultimaker has always been known for sticking to its free software policy, one of the few companies whose products were shared with practically the entire community through licenses Creative Commons which allowed to copy, reditribute, adapt, transform any product ... all for non-commercial purposes.
Basically what Ultimaker allowed with this type of license was that anyone interested in 3D printing issues could have access to the drawings of their products and even all the electronic components and software necessary to make their 3D printers work. The idea is that this would serve to motivate the community by allowing own developments as long as the license is complied with.
Despite being against it, Ultimaker decides to apply for a patent.
Due to all this, it is especially striking that Ultimaker has applied for a patent, for the first time in its history, where according to them they seek to protect all their work in research and development areas. In turn, an Ultimaker spokesperson assures that this is just one defensive measure before a professional market where larger companies, through lawsuits, seek to eliminate the competition.
As published Lana Lozova via the official blog of the Dutch company:
A defensive patent helps protect the company against patent infringement lawsuits. It also allows the company to counter-sue if a competitor files a lawsuit in this regard.
Having defensive patents is really important for companies like Ultimaker. After all, we are focused on innovation and to continue bringing new products to market, we must protect our intellectual property portfolio. In short, these defensive patents help us continue to do what we do best: develop efficient, effective and usable 3D printers and related products.