I call this a "Full Spectrum Lapidary 3D Image Scanner and Method", or a "3D Solid Scanner" for short. It uses polishing techniques vs. mechanical machining using cutting tools as other prior art cited:

The Crump Group (now Cimquest Inc.)...



... in particular has marketed a machine tool that creates solid 3D models using milling machines and layer imaging cameras. Software is used to reassemble the photographed layers into 3D SOLID models. I have cited prior art that precedes the Crump inventions as well. How do I determine freedom to operate issues in regard to these facts?

A "child patent" is a patent that derives some of it's novelty from previous work on a particular invention ... is my understanding.

Does anyone know of any other prior art such as the Visible Human Projects that was not referenced by the Crump patents or my patent?


  • I'm afraid I can't quite work out what you're asking. Are you asking about novelty of your own application (since you mention that prior art has been cited). Or are you asking if some prior art is sufficient to invalidate the patent you refer to?
    – Maca
    Jul 28, 2016 at 2:29
  • Very astute. The logical answer would be both. I think Crump's work has prior art that could invalidate some if not most of his patents and yet my work which was somewhat taught by Crump but mostly by the prior art that Crump learned from as well (the public domain Visible Human) is quite novel and new because I used lapidary methods and open source software. I'll clean up my question some more.
    – 3dalliance
    Jul 28, 2016 at 11:58
  • 1
    People can read the patents and provide their opinion, but really that will be no assurance of freedom to operate. You can pay a lawyer for an FTO opinion, but again if it gets to court you are at the mercy of judge and jury.
    – Eric S
    Aug 2, 2016 at 18:47
  • Eric - I was hoping a legally trained person might chime in. If not best answer gets the bounty.
    – 3dalliance
    Aug 3, 2016 at 16:24
  • As a legally trained person, I have to reiterate my earlier point that it is rather unclear what you're asking. I have to recommend clearly separating what the patent you are concerned about is, and what the relevant prior art is (and if there are multiple pieces of prior art, setting them out separately). Because at this stage, I simply can't tell which parts of your question pertain to which, and how this Crump Group is involved.
    – Maca
    Aug 4, 2016 at 5:21


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