Rapid manufacturing bureau Proto Labs has announced a settlement has been reached in an ongoing patent infringement dispute with fellow manufacturing company ICO Products.
The dispute was related to Proto Labs’ proprietary quoting technology and the company, based in Minnesota, has now received an undisclosed sum as part of the settlement and an equity stake in ICO Products.
The quoting technology in question allows Proto Labs to instantly provide a quote for their manufacturing services based on the proprietary software. Users upload a 3D CAD model to the Proto Labs website which will be automatically analyzed and quotes can then be generated from within a few minutes to up to a few hours. In addition, the software also provides interactive design and manufacturing feedback.
ICO Products has two facilities, one in Toledo Ohio and a manufacturing facility in Shenzhen, China. Proto Labs, founded in 1999, has 10 facilities in seven different countries with headquarters in Maple Plain Minnesota. Following the settlement, ICO Products has now entered into a license agreement to obtain the rights for continued use of certain aspects of the quoting software.
Increasing 3D printing services
As a contract manufacturing company, Proto Labs is expanding its use of 3D printing to provide rapid solutions. The company recently reported that 3D printing services generated $9.9 million in revenue for Q3 of 2016 which was up from $6.6 million the year prior. The company also recently added the latest Polyjet technology from Stratasys to their arsenal of additive manufacturing solutions.
Featured image shows injection molding machines at their Plymouth facility. Screenshot via Proto Labs.