3D Printing for Consumers: What does it mean for the future of IP?

There is concern that 3D printing could make it easy to copy a patented product with a push of a button.

3D Printing3D printing used to be a product design company’s domain, but it is quickly becoming an affordable technology. While 3D printing is still in its infancy, rights owners are acknowledging the threat.

Jia Li, Innovation Intelligence consultant at CPA Global, sat down with IPWatchdog recently to discuss how rights owners should respond to the threat of their intellectual property being reproduced without permission.

Speaking at a USPTO 3D Printing Conference in June 2016, Russell Slifer, Former Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for IP and Deputy Director of the USPTO, explained that patent filings relating to 3D printing have increased 23-fold over the last five years, and trademark filings for businesses involved in 3D printing have increased 300 percent over the same time. Obviously, there is great excitement over the promise of 3D printing, but there is also concern about how 3D printing could make it too easy to copy a patented product with a push of a button.

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