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Could 3D printing have the same impact on manufacturing as digital downloads have had on the music and film industries?

Additive manufacturing, also known as “3D printing” has some commentators and Intellectual Property experts concerned about the future of Australian manufacturing and design-based industries.

A 3D printer creates a 3D object by creating a virtual model and deconstructing the object into 2D slices.  The 3D object is then printed in layers of material such as titanium, plastic or polymer.

3D printing technology has already been used to create an incredible range of goods from sculptures and toys to industrial items and medical devices. 3D Printing is capable of manufacturing more complicated and intricate shapes than any other primary manufacturing technology.

Although the impact of 3D printing technology is currently limited by economic factors, the obvious implication is that 3D printing could therefore infringe such Intellectual Property rights as copyright, design rights, trademarks or patents.  What do these rights involve?

  1. Copyright is an unregistered right that protects mainly artistic and creative works;
  2. Design Protection exists in both registered and unregistered forms and protects the distinctive shape and appearance of items (in particular those that are mass-produced);
  3. A Patent is a registered right that protects novel and innovative products such as mechanisms or pharmaceutical compounds;
  4. Registered Trade Marks serve to inform consumers of the origin (and by association, reputation) of goods.

At Brazel Moore Lawyers we can assist you to protect your intellectual property rights and to ensure you do not breach other people’s intellectual property rights.

Should you have any enquiries then please do not hesitate to call Brazel Moore Lawyers on (02) 4324 699.

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