3D View of Patent Enforcement
|Image by Charles C|
With the help of a 3D printer, a person can just download or make designs or plans and print a product of his choice. Articles like pens, plates, cell phone cases and so on can be made at home if the right materials are available. Number of patents have been filed with respect to 3D printing till date. A quick key search yields around two thousand patents with respect to 3D printing and the number has been growing over the years.
3D printing as a technology is fascinating and has multi-dimensional applications. But many companies are today worried about the technology. The primary concern is that the technology will give people the opportunity to create infringing products without liability. If a patented product is printed at home and used at home, it would be extremely difficult for a company to identify andtake action for patent infringement.
The concerns cited by patent holding companies are similar to problems cited when replicating technologies were invented earlier. The advent of video recorders, cameras, computers, internet, copying softwares and so on were surrounded by similar objections. Despite the concerns with respect to 3D printing technology, today, it will like other technologies gain popularity and very soon become common place. To face the challenge, patent holders must develop a new dimension to their enforcement strategy.
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