3D or not 3D? That is not the question. 3D printing IS coming and on Wednesday 7th October the City Law School host Dr Marc Mimler (UCL) who will analyse the impact of wider distribution of 3D printers on IP right holders.
3D printing is an emerging technology that promises many interesting applications. While some commentators perceive 3D printing as the dawn of a new industrial revolution others are more sceptical about the technology’s impact. 3D printers have become more and more affordable in recent times. Therefore, a wider distribution of 3D printers among the general public appears possible. This means that users can then print 3-D objects from the comfort of their home. Additionally, there are websites available that can be accessed to download files that contain templates which can be read into a computer and used for printing objects.
It has been argued that this development may have an enormous impact on Intellectual Property (IP) Rights holders. 3D printing can be used to produce objects that are covered by an IP right. One could for instance print an object which is covered by a design right. But there could also be the possibility to produce an object covered by a patent, trade mark or copyright.
Jacques Attali, the renowned economist, philosopher and French political adviser, who in 1976 wrote a book that predicted the "crisis of proliferation" that the digital age has bestowed on the music industry with astonishing accuracy, has said manufacturing will be hit by an identical crisis, and this time it will be caused by 3D printing, saying "With 3D printing, people will print their own cups, furniture" and "Everyone will make their own objects, in the same way they are making their own music" - and its coming faster than anyone expects.
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Dr Marc Mimler analyses the impact of wider distribution of 3D printers on IP right holders. The question arises whether the law is equipped to tackle this issue or whether legislative action may be required.
13.00 - 15.00 Wednesday 7th October