Three Dimensions of Patent Infringement: Liability for Creation and Distribution of CAD Files

Australian Intellectual Property Journal, 2016

14 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2016 Last revised: 3 Jun 2017

See all articles by John Liddicoat

John Liddicoat

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law; University of Tasmania

Jane L Nielsen

University of Tasmania

Dianne Nicol

University of Tasmania

Date Written: June 9, 2016

Abstract

3D printing is contributing to a global trend toward customization, user innovation and democratisation of design and manufacture. A key element of 3D printing is that computer aided design (‘CAD’) files are used to instruct printers to create physical 3D products. This article explores patent liability for creators of CAD files that provide directions for the creation of potentially infringing products. This analysis compares the Australian position to that in the US and UK. One US commentator has suggested that 3D printing will leave patentees helpless to combat widespread infringement. By examining direct and indirect infringement case law this paper finds that Australian law creates relatively clear liability for the creation and distribution of CAD files.

Keywords: 3d printing, patent law, patent infringement

Suggested Citation

Liddicoat, Johnathon and Nielsen, Jane L and Nicol, Dianne, Three Dimensions of Patent Infringement: Liability for Creation and Distribution of CAD Files (June 9, 2016). Australian Intellectual Property Journal, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2792601

Johnathon Liddicoat (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law ( email )

10 West Road
Cambridge, CB3 9DZ
United Kingdom

University of Tasmania ( email )

French Street
Sandy Bay
Hobart, Tasmania 7001
Australia

Jane L Nielsen

University of Tasmania ( email )

French Street
Sandy Bay
Tasmania, 7250
Australia

Dianne Nicol

University of Tasmania ( email )

French Street
Sandy Bay
Tasmania, 7250
Australia

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