Seems as if MakerBot is trying to patent techniques that have been present in open source products for years.
I don’t know how we can stop this, but it must be stopped. If we allow large companies to acquire open source designs as their private and protected intellectual property, then the Patent system is all screwed up. I wish I had more optimism about that process. I explored how to protest this, but the procedures are so complex and arduous that I gave up. This is what I received from the Patent Office:
Thank you for contacting the USPTO Contact Center.
It appears as if you may be attempting to file a protest or perhaps a third-party preissuance submission against a pending patent application. Please note: the USPTO transacts business in writing. See 37 CFR 1.2. Official correspondence may not be submitted via email. If it is your intent to file a protest, please see 37 CFR 1.291 and the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP) chapter 1900 for more information. Here is a link: http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/mpep-1900.html
If you wish to file a third-party preissuance submission, please see the information relating to the submission, here: http://www.uspto.gov/aia_implementation/patents.jsp#heading-7
If you have any further questions or if you require additional information, please call the USPTO Contact Center at 1-800-786-9199 or (571) 272-1000