The Multiple Dimensions of Intellectual Property Infringement in the 3D Printing Era
27 Australian Intellectual Property Journal 184
25 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2017
Date Written: June 2, 2017
3D printing is a technology that has the potential to revolutionise manufacturing as we know it. While 3D printing is becoming mainstream, few consumers of printing services have the capacity to undertake their own printing. Around the technology, a service industry is burgeoning, as consumers increasingly seek to explore what the technology has to offer via printing studios. This article explores the intellectual property (IP) implications of the services offered by these providers as 3D printing apparently increases the capacity of ordinary consumers to infringe IP rights under multiple regimes. As such, the primary aim of this article is to consider whether the perception of legal risk possessed by stakeholders operating in this space necessarily aligns with actual legal risk. It does so by exploring the results of a study conducted in respect of 3D printing studios, and aligning this with the legal issues that may emerge in the context of patent, copyright and designs under Australian law.
Keywords: intellectual property, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, patent, copyright, design
JEL Classification: K29, O30, O31, O33, O38, O34, O32
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