There is news this week of a strange legal battle over additive manufacturing technology in Poland.
Fabbaloo received a note from Łukasz Żrodowski, a Polish researcher who leads AMAZEMET, a spin-off company from Warsaw University of Technology. Żrodowski also worked to develop a specialized metal atomizer, called “ATO”, which is used to produce metal powder for additive manufacturing.
It seems that ATO was taken on by another Polish company, 3D-Lab, a regional reseller of 3D printing equipment and two models of ATO devices. Evidently Żrodowski worked with the company for a time on this technology.
We’ve written previously about both companies, seeing the ATO device back in 2017, and reporting on AMAZEMET’s rePowder system this year.
But then something happened. Żrodowski writes:
“Not long after this device was made public, I was removed from the company at the initiative of the majority shareholders. Since then both companies are competing worldwide as reported in the industry.”
Both companies meaning 3D-Lab and AMAZEMET. I don’t know the specific reasons for this split, but in my experience they can range from totally evil to entirely appropriate.
Żrodowski reports of heated competition between the two, and claimed that 3D-Lab tried to “defame my reputation as the inventor of the ATO device in the eyes of academic, scientific research, and business communities.”
He also claims that:
”One of the investment partners of the 3D-Lab Company, the Altamira Knaflewski Wasiukiewicz sp. k. investment fund, went so far as an attempt to ban me from continuing to conduct my ongoing research at the Warsaw University of Technology where I had previously developed the core ultrasonic atomization technology.”
If true, this is all not very nice.
However, Żrodowski took 3D-Lab and its investor to court with the assistance of the University, and won the case in 2021. Evidently the court ruled there was sufficient evidence to prove that 3D-Lab had indeed defamed Żrodowski.
Since then, Żrodowski reports of ongoing false information being distributed by 3D-Lab, and he sought further legal action from the courts. He wrote:
“Finally, the District Court for Warsaw-Mokotów in Warsaw, in a decision dated February 15, 2023, in a case with the file number I 1 Co 589/23 (final as of June 26, 2023), imposed an obligation on 3D-Lab to pay a monetary sum of PLN 20,000 for violating the ban on disseminating false information about AMAZEMET, and also, in a judgment dated April 21, 2023, in case file number XXV C 197/22 (final as of July 7, 2023), ordered one of the members of the board of directors of 3D-Lab to remedy the violation of my personal rights by submitting and publishing an apology.”
That apology now appears prominently online in several relevant sites, as shown above. One can be seen at CD3D, a leading Polish AM publication.
Żrodowski has even published a video explaining the situation.
Żrodowski believes the misinformation is still being distributed, in spite of the legal orders not to do so, and has set up a method to report them to the court for processing.
We don’t have any inside information on this case, and there is certainly plenty more to the story. However, we do know that a court made a decision based on information presented. The thing to remember here is that in business there are many kinds of people involved, and sometimes there are difficult conflicts.
Via Belegal, AMAZEMET and 3D-Lab