According to 3D printing specialist Markforged, this “campaign of dirty tricks” by the competitor violates a 2018 deal both companies agreed to when they were in court.
Markforged asserts that the Massachusetts-based manufacturer sent around a “battle card” of marketing materials to more than one hundred of its resellers. These materials would compare Markforged’s Metal X printer with Desktop Metal’s Studio System printer. More importantly, these materials would contain falsehoods about its 3D printers. Anyway, these acts would violate a non-disparagement clause that results from the October 2018 settlement between the companies.
As a reminder, this resulting settlement contains a mutual non-disparagement clause, with $100,000 in liquidated damages to be assessed for each violation of this agreement.
In an official statement to our colleagues from TCT, Markforged said: “We believe healthy competition is good for the industry, innovation, and—most importantly—customers. Unfortunately, as alleged in our complaint, Desktop Metal has chosen to compete by spreading false information. Markforged is taking this necessary step to ensure customers are making their buying decisions on facts, not lies.”
Desktop Metal, for its part, maintains its innocence and is ready to address the allegations in the appropriate forum.
A decisive moment for both companies
This lawsuit happens at a decisive moment for both companies that raised significant amounts of new capital this year and they are on their way to lead new innovations. In January, Desktop Metal closed a $160 million Series E funding round, pushing its total venture haul to $438 million since 2017. In March, Markforged secured $82 million in a Series D funding round, making its total raised $137 million since 2013.
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