3D Printing and IPR

Dec 2022

The three-dimensional or 3D printing service is different from the traditional way of manufacturing. In the 3D process, objects are created layer wise to get the desired three dimensional impacts. Since the inception of this latest idea in 1980s, it has gone through several changes in the technology used. This requires use of different production process to cope up with the latest technological changes. From the view of intellectual property details, the changes need some protection to safeguard the innovation used in this three dimensional technology. The 3D technology challenges the mechanism of IPR to be followed in future.

What do you understand by 3D printing?

In 3D printing, it is regarding a digital file in which an object is digitally printed and it should be formatted in 3D format with help scanner or printer. It is then processed for use using a 3D printer in which the digital model is converted to a physical object, and giving its required 3D effects. There is wide use of 3D printing across different manufacturing areas that are offering new opportunities to cope up with latest business developments.

What IP laws are applied on 3D printing?

The main concern of using 3D printing is that it can copy anything without the consent of the actual owner of the object. When protecting object from being printed in 3D without the consent of the person does not result in any IP problems. Having copyright is important as it helps maintain the original work and enabling the owner to reproduce the work. In case any copied work has been 3d printed without the consent of its owner, he or she can get relief and take legal action as per copyright laws.

It is often thought that a 3D file can be protected using laws similar to protecting software. As per jurisdiction, the author or owner of 3D file should have intellectual effort so that the main object can be converted into its prototype as a printed one. With this, the owner of digital file who has reproduced the file without authorization can claim on the basis of moral rights when the ownership of the work is in question. This is where the intellectual property rights are important and it shall help prevent any unauthorized use of the work of an author.

When the printed item is protected by means of patent or national laws, it should fall under intellectual property code of the country. It prohibits the use of any invention without the authorization of the person. Owing to this, the patent owners can opt for redress from third parties to give permission to work on their 3D files on grounds of ‘essential items such that the invention is under patent laws.’

The Closure

By understanding the potential of 3D printing and its industry in future, it is important that the owners should follow certain intellectual property rights. This shall help in safeguard the work of owners from any illegal or unauthorized use in the market.

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