The 'Third Industrial Revolution': 3D Printing Technology and Australian Designs Law

Journal of Law, Information and Science Vol 24(1) 2015 - 2016

27 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2016

See all articles by Mitchell Adams

Mitchell Adams

Swinburne University of Technology

Date Written: October 5, 2016

Abstract

Three-dimensional (3D) printing and scanning, touted as the next disruptive technology, is already upon us. Merging the physical and digital, 3D printing and scanning is having profound effects on how we design, share, copy and manufacture objects. Consequently, this article considers the previously unexplored intellectual property implications for registered design owners. In doing so, it examines the technological background to 3D printing and scanning against a backdrop of consumer access to these technologies. With the advent of 3D scanners and 3D printers any user can (re)produce unauthorised versions of an object that embodies a registered design in digital or physical form. This article considers the effectiveness of Australian registered design rights to combat infringement of this kind. It is concluded that the Designs Act 2003 (Cth) is unable to deal with this nascent technology.

Keywords: 3D printing, intellectual property, designs, 3D scanners, designs infringement

Suggested Citation

Adams, Mitchell, The 'Third Industrial Revolution': 3D Printing Technology and Australian Designs Law (October 5, 2016). Journal of Law, Information and Science Vol 24(1) 2015 - 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2866120

Mitchell Adams (Contact Author)

Swinburne University of Technology ( email )

John Street
Hawthorn, Victoria 3122
Australia

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