Poland’s industry is shaken by a feud involving additive manufacturing, as a revealed legal battle showcases.

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This week, there is an intriguing legal battle unfolding in Poland involving additive manufacturing technology. Recently, Łukasz Żrodowski, a Polish researcher and the leader of AMAZEMET, a spin-off company from Warsaw University of Technology, reached out to Fabbaloo to share his side of the story. Żrodowski was instrumental in developing a specialized metal atomizer called “ATO,” which is used for producing metal powder in additive manufacturing.

It appears that another Polish company, 3D-Lab, a regional reseller of 3D printing equipment, acquired the ATO technology and began manufacturing two models of ATO devices. Żrodowski collaborated with 3D-Lab for some time before being unexpectedly removed from the company by the majority shareholders. This sudden split between Żrodowski and 3D-Lab led to both companies entering into fierce competition on a global scale, as reported within the industry.

Although the specific reasons for the split remain unknown, such occurrences can range anywhere from malicious intent to legitimate business decisions. Żrodowski claims that there was heated competition between the two companies, with 3D-Lab even attempting to undermine his reputation as the inventor of the ATO device in academic, scientific research, and business communities. Additionally, he alleges that one of 3D-Lab’s investment partners, the Altamira Knaflewski Wasiukiewicz sp. k. investment fund, went so far as to attempt to prevent him from continuing his ongoing research at Warsaw University of Technology, where he had originally developed the core ultrasonic atomization technology.

If Żrodowski’s claims are true, it is certainly disappointing to witness such behavior. However, he took legal action against 3D-Lab and its investor, with the support of Warsaw University of Technology, and emerged victorious in 2021. The court ruled that there was sufficient evidence to prove that 3D-Lab had indeed defamed Żrodowski. Despite this legal triumph, Żrodowski continues to face the dissemination of false information by 3D-Lab and has sought further legal recourse.

In February 2023, the District Court for Warsaw-Mokotów in Warsaw ordered 3D-Lab to pay a monetary sum of PLN 20,000 for violating the ban on disseminating false information about AMAZEMET. Furthermore, in April 2023, one of the members of 3D-Lab’s board of directors was ordered to rectify the violation of Żrodowski’s personal rights by issuing a public apology. This apology has now been prominently displayed on several relevant websites, including CD3D, a renowned Polish additive manufacturing publication. Żrodowski has also released a video detailing the situation.

Despite the legal orders explicitly forbidding the dissemination of misinformation, Żrodowski believes such false information is still being propagated. In response, he has established a method for reporting such instances to the court for appropriate action. While we do not possess any insider knowledge regarding this dispute, it is important to note that a court made a ruling based on the presented evidence. This case serves as a reminder that conflicts and complexities can arise in the business world, involving various types of individuals.

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