EU Design Law and 3d Printing: Finding the Right Balance in a New e-Ecosystem

Rosa Maria Ballardini, Marcus Norrgård, Jouni Partanen (eds) 3D Printing, Intellectual Property and Innovation – Insights from Law and Technology (Wolters Kluwer, 2017 Forthcoming)

University of Copenhagen Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2017-30

25 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2016 Last revised: 6 Apr 2017

See all articles by Ana Nordberg

Ana Nordberg

Faculty of Law, Lund University, Sweden

Jens Schovsbo

Centre for Information and Innovation Law (CIIR)

Date Written: December 21, 2016

Abstract

This chapter considers the implications for EU design law of 3D-printing. It first describes the 3D-printing technology and the e-ecosystem which is evolving around the technology and involves a number of new stakeholders who in different ways are engaged in the making and sharing of CAD-files and/or printing. It is submitted that it is only a matter of time before 3D-printing equipment becomes ubiquitous. It is pointed out how the new technology and e-ecosystem at the same time represent threats and opportunities to design holders and to the societal interests in design and design law. EU design law is analyses and it is concluded that the current legal framework is not geared to deal with these challenges. In particular the scope of the private and non-commercial use exception and the liability of producers and provides of CAD-files are presently uncertain. It is finally argued that there is a dire need to address the challenges and to provide legal certainty. In so doing a balance should be struck which reflects both the legitimate interests of design holders and of users and which relies on a combination of responses found both in legislation and in systems based on self-governance.

Keywords: 3D printing, design law, Intellectual Property Law, EU

Suggested Citation

Nordberg, Ana and Schovsbo, Jens, EU Design Law and 3d Printing: Finding the Right Balance in a New e-Ecosystem (December 21, 2016). Rosa Maria Ballardini, Marcus Norrgård, Jouni Partanen (eds) 3D Printing, Intellectual Property and Innovation – Insights from Law and Technology (Wolters Kluwer, 2017 Forthcoming); University of Copenhagen Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2017-30. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2888426 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2888426

Ana Nordberg

Faculty of Law, Lund University, Sweden ( email )

Lilla Gråbrödersgatan 4
Lund, 222 22
Sweden
+46462221054 (Phone)

Jens Schovsbo (Contact Author)

Centre for Information and Innovation Law (CIIR) ( email )

University of Copenhagen
Karen Blixens Plads 16
Copenhagen, 2300
Denmark

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