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Are You Infringing IP Laws by Printing in 3D?

3D printers have become increasingly accessible over the past five years, allowing owners to manufacture complex designs and quickly duplicate objects. However, this affordable solution could see owners breaching intellectual property (IP) rights without realising, leaving rights holders with the difficult task of finding infringers and taking action against them. So, what legal issues has 3D printing brought to the forefront, what can and cannot be printed and what are the ethical considerations of 3D printing? Daniel Kelly, intellectual property solicitor at law firm, Shakespeare Martineau , explains for Lawyer Monthly. 3D printing begins with a computer-aided design (CAD) file which is exported to a 3D printer using specialised software, transforming the digital model into a physical object, making it easy to reproduce products. The fact that CAD files are digital means that they can easily be shared across the internet through torrent sites or other filesharing platforms. This […]


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