A coalition of groups is working to keep 3D printing from getting fouled up in antiquated U.S. patent laws. The broader idea is to prevent types of patents that would effectively keep some ideas already in circulation off limits for 20 years. For instance, one patent applicant wants to "patent the technology required to 3D print chocolate." If patents were approved for all potential 3D materials, the field could be stifled, according to attorney Kit Walsh.

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