Abstract

This Note explores a potential global solution to the foreseeable patent infringement problems with 3-D printing and do-it-yourself users. More specifically, at a time when 3-D printing is quickly gaining popularity and recognition for its many beneficial applications through advancements in printing and scanning technology, the current state of patent law lacks the ability to detect and prevent patent infringement among do-it-yourself users of 3-D printing. I propose a potential global solution that would provide a balance between fostering growth in 3-D printing and upholding patentees’ rights by exploring the possibility of creating a collaborative, intergovernmental 3-D CAD file database that utilizes 3-D CAD file recognition software that must be cross-referenced by 3-D printers as a prerequisite to printing any 3-D CAD file. The creation of this type of collaborative global database would yield benefits to inventors, countries’ patent offices, and patentees, while ensuring 3-D printing continues to benefit direct and indirect users around the world. Ultimately, this proposal, along with the facts and issues presented in this note, helps to convey the importance of why a proactive solution to potential patent infringement issues accompanying quickly advancing 3-D-printing technology should remain on patent attorneys’, legislators’, and patentees’ radars.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1543-0367
Print ISSN
1080-0727
Pages
pp. 149-173
Launched on MUSE
2015-02-13
Open Access
No
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