Sometimes even the simplest of designs can get you in trouble. Consider this: Maxwell House launched a 39-ounce plastics container for coffee. Procter & Gamble subsequently requested a preliminary injunction stopping use of the design, claiming that it infringes on its plastic canister patent in use for Folgers coffee. It seems almost that P&G claims that use of a plastics container is a patent infringement. Five specific areas of infringement are cited (see image below), and none seem particularly unique. One for example is use of a flexible lid. Another is use of rigid areas in the package. That strikes me as a tad much.
How can automakers, aerospace contractors, and other OEMs get new metal alloys that are stronger, harder, and can survive ever higher temperatures? One way is to redesign their crystalline structures at the nanoscale and microscale.
Although a lot of the excitement about 3D printing and additive manufacturing surrounds its ability to make end-products and functional prototypes, some often ignored applications are the big improvements that can come by using it for tooling, jigs, and fixtures.
A fun and informative tour you can attend at the upcoming Design & Manufacturing Minneapolis, MD&M Minneapolis, and other events there, is the Materials Innovation Tour on Wednesday afternoon. I'll be leading it.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies.
You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived.
So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.