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3D Printing and IP Protection

The proliferation of three-dimensional (3D) printing has led to unique challenges and novel issues in the context of intellectual property law and, in particular, patent law. Due to the protracted nature of the legal system, modern innovation and technological advancements always seem to outpace the law. 3D printing is no exception. As 3D technology continues to expand and grow, so too will the body of law regulating it. One of the unique issues facing 3D printing technology is that the 3D printing process for creating solid 3D objects uses digital models, such as CAD (computer-aided design) files, as the basis to print the objects. As a result, in addition to potential copyright issues that could arise from using a CAD file, there also may be patent and trademark issues. For example, similar to the way in which a person can utilize a regular printer to print copies of a […]


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