I received the following press release from Concept Laser this morning. It’s short and sweet and therefore reproduced in full below:
“EOS and Trumpf extend patent licences to USA, Concept Laser and EOS agree cross-licence
Concept Laser GmbH, EOS GmbH (Electro Optical Systems) and TRUMPF Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH + Co. KG announce that they have updated and extended their patent licence agreement from 2006. The new agreement gives Concept Laser GmbH all licence rights to sell LaserCUSING® products worldwide, also retrospectively if necessary. The parties have agreed to keep details of the license agreement confidential.
In addition, Concept Laser GmbH and EOS GmbH (Electro Optical Systems) have agreed a cross-licence, which gives each party licence rights to the current patent portfolio of the other party. The licenses also cover all products which customers of the parties manufacture or have manufactured on laser-sintering or LaserCUSING® systems. Under the cross-licence agreement, Concept Laser GmbH and EOS GmbH Electro Optical Systems also agreed to withdraw all patent opposition cases which were pending between them.”
A couple of things struck me about this release, the first was on a more superficial level in that the companies — competing in the same industrial markets with additive metal processes — are actively playing nice even to the extent of dropping existing lawsuits. Business is business and all that, but how refreshing to see peaceful resolutions and a degree of harmony.
The second thing that occurred to me was the open sharing (or licensing) of the tech between the organisations. Open between themselves, obviously, and not the world at large. That would be silly. There have to be mutual advantages here, and one can’t help wondering if this is a preliminary move ahead of a potential German AM merger. Complete speculation on my part, but one I shall be keeping an eye on!