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.
NIST's new five-year strategic plan for its Material Measurement Laboratory lists additive manufacturing materials development as one of the main areas it will support by developing measurements, data, techniques, and models.
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