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.
The amount of plastic clogging the ocean continues to grow. Some startling, not-so-good news has come out recently about the roles plastic is playing in the ocean, as well as more heartening news about efforts to collect and reuse it.
Optomec's third America Makes project for metal 3D printing teams the LENS process company with GE Aviation, Lockheed, and other big aerospace names to develop guidelines for repairing high-value flight-critical Air Force components.
A self-propelled robot developed by a team of researchers headed by MIT promises to detect leaks quickly and accurately in gas pipelines, eliminating the likelihood of dangerous explosions. The robot may also be useful in water and petroleum pipe leak detection.
Aerojet Rocketdyne has built and successfully hot-fire tested an entire 3D-printed rocket engine. In other news, NASA's 3D-printed rocket engine injectors survived tests generating a record 20,000 pounds of thrust. Some performed equally well or better than welded parts.
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