This site has highlighted several times that one of the biggest threats to firms employing 3D printing relates to IP. As well as protecting designs for revenue purposes, as 3D printed items become more used and useful, there will be issues of liability and even safety-criticality that come into play. Waiting for a problem to arise before tackling it is not the best risk management approach, and preparing today for what is happening tomorrow is necessary. However, as this article from Chris Gape a BDaily tells, this message is not sinking in.
New research from law firm DMH Stallard has found that while many companies are excited by the use and potential of 3D printing, they currently don’t see it posing much of a threat to their intellectual property (IP).
This is despite the fact that 3D printing can make counterfeiting goods easier.
The qualitative research spoke to companies working across such areas as using 3D printing to produce prototypes as well as finished parts, and those developing software relevant to 3D printing, design protection and data logistics.
Robert Ganpatsingh (pictured), Partner at DMH Stallard and one of the researchers, says: “Of the companies we spoke to, who all operated in a business-to-business environment, the majority believed that their IP would be safe if sensible precautions were taken to protect it. Although they did acknowledge that there was more danger to them at the bespoke end of the scale, where very small numbers of highly customised products are made.