To build a decentralised manufacturing system with the potential to create products that better centrally mass produced alternatives, an intellectual property protection and reward system that enables incremental innovation is required. To this end, we have built our product creation and delivery solution based around something that we have called ‘Fair Source’. This takes the best elements of both the open and closed source solutions whilst aiming to circumvent their flaws – discussed in detail below. This draws heaviliy upon the FRAND system of patent licencing that is typically used for the efficent licencing of multiple patents around industry standards as well as some of our own solutions to problems.
Patents & Collaboration
We have a number of pending patents that have been drafted and filed to cover our investments into our robotics and 3D printing innovations – and contingency fee litigation arrangements in place to enforce these. These applications, based upon our in depth research into the existing patent, registered design and prior art landscape in the following areas:
(1) Collaborative design and decentralised manufacturing solutions to produce functional products that can compete with current mass produced equivalents on price and desirability using a combination of 3D printed parts and standard format modules that contain electromechanical items. Our patents also cover methods for creating interconnects to convey power and signals between a multiplicity of modules.
(2) Multi-tasking fixed and mobile robot solution for a variety of environments.
(3) Last mile delivery solutions.
(4) Machine-to-machine value capture and distribution systems.
We are actively looking for project partners (comapnies and individuals) to collaborate with upon projects in the areas above, so do please contact us if you would like to explore how we may work together in mutually beneficial ways.
The open source movement has undoubtedly been primarily responsible to the widespread adoption of 3D printing and the fast tracking of innovative development in this area. We have contributed to the RepRap community in the following posts, but have also seen much created by innovators exploited by low cost base manufacturers with little or no payback.
- Use of MIG welding equipment as a low cost metal printing solution
- A conversation that contributed to the creation of the bounty system on the RepRap web site.
Patents and registered designs do restrict the fast tracking of innovation and the democratisation of design – both things that are needed to tackle the significant environmental, space travel and other challenges that have yet to be met. It is for this reason, that we have documented our thoughts on an alternative ecosystem…
Compopoly…an more efficient value capture & distribution system?
To further significantly increase efficiency and productivity, we need to eliminate parallel research and development, then ensure that as many requirements are fulfilled as possible using the most efficient solution.
Standardisation has almost always increase efficiency. The standard shipping container paved the way for significantly lower transportation costs and globalisation. Opening up the smart phone operating system and transparently offering grassroots developers a revenue share has dramatically reduced the price of software and increased our personal productivity.
We are proposing something very similar. Between 2008 and 2012, we built a task and reward sharing system that allows that could be linked into the myriad of online e-commerce sites and payment gateways to ensure that those who created the value in a product or service could transparently receive a commensurate payment. Rather than subjecting us to a deluge of marketing messages, individuals and businesses could collaborate to better support us by working together to fulfill our immediate needs and let us know about other things that we might want. Similarly, if they agreed, existing patent holders could be offered a fair share of revenues for products sold, no matter who produced or sold them, then the efforts of those wasting time looking to compete by finding a workaround could instead build on the patented solution to create an even more value adding product. Investors could fund a combination of producers in a sector for predictable returns of back specific research and development activity for more speculative gains – without the duplication of the current system, the overall ROI should be better.
Eventually, the current costly and inefficient patent solution could be replaced by a catalogue of products, options together with their cost of manufacture and the technology that goes into them.