Jie Qi is the founder of Chibitronics, a crafting electronics platform that uses paper and stickers to create (and teach) circuits. Building the company and working on electronics-filled pop-up books led to the realization that patent law does apply to open source maker-type companies. She started PatentPandas.org to share what she’s learned.
Jie is not the only one who has had issues with big companies patenting their open source work. We mentioned Jarek Duda and his fight to keep his compression algorithm unburdened by patents.
If you are having or wondering about having an issue, Patent Pandas is intended to be an amusing and gentle introduction. If you are looking for prior art, you can look at the Prior Art Archive and Patents.StackExchange. (If you have some free time, there are often requests to find prior art.)