The Legal Risk Involved by Using 3D Printed Parts

Including intellectual property, companies have much to lose using 3D printing. simply we have no possibility to create and verify that made by our hand 3d models are not already protected by law in some distinct place.
Imagine a world where a trademark could publish the digital plan of a product, for example automotive spare part, on a web platform: the client could then choose a specific plan and select a manufacturer to be directly dispatch the part. This is only one of the possibilities that will in the future offer the world of printing in three dimensions (3D) and, even if this looks to science fiction, rapid advances in technology bring closer us to this scenario. If the revolution of 3D printing is likely to create great opportunities for businesses, the medal has a setback while marks are aware of the effects it might have on their intellectual property rights. It is now clear that companies must determine the impact of 3D printing and the real risks it represents through intellectual property theft and other abuses.

The 3D printing, important development source and yet tool on copyright bypass

Also called fast prototyping or additive manufacturing, 3D printing includes seven different industrial processes and appears to completely transform the traditional manufacturing processes in many key sectors. Products that are manufactured for centuries by methods such as metal stamping or injection in the mussels can now be obtained by deposition of successive layers of material according to a 3D digital plan created in software. We are at the dawn of an era where it will be possible to produce complex and detailed forms using systems relatively cheap and easy to use, including at home by individuals.

By 2020 3D printing production will generate 20 billion euro gross

3D printing could have a considerable impact on businesses. Indeed, according to the Wohlers Report 2014 study, the global 3D printing sector could generate revenues in 2018 $ 12.8 billion and 21 billion by 2020. Its initial growth expected to be fueled by the availability of cheap consumer models of printers and 3D scanners, eliminating the need for specialized software or skills in design for creating print ready files. However, if we add the multitude of opportunities available to companies, including manufacturers of consumer products, spare parts, the financial gain for these sectors could be significant.

Losses in intellectual property come from individual use of those parts

However the very nature of this revolutionary technology, which allows to create and copy three dimensional objects, raises questions regarding possible infringements of trademarks registered trademarks, rights of reproduction, patents, designs and rights to the image. The risks are real for businesses. While analysts published optimistic forecasts on the financial impact of this trend in full swing, Gartner considers for its part to $ 100 billion in 2018 annual losses in intellectual property by 3D printing.

3D Printed Parts
Nowadays 3D printers can print all kind of objects in all kind of materials. Presented on image shoes are replica.

One of the potential risks to trademark lies in the ‘maker spaces’ or ‘Fab Lab’, a growing fashion to put at the disposal of consumers in workshops where they can draw their objects and make them print on the spot; yet Internet sites where they can send their printing 3D files. There are also various sharing sites file allowing users to Exchange digital content, including of files for 3D printer, often under the cover of anonymity.

Other sectors are going to note losses as well

Companies whose products have a brand or a well known cover can also be particularly endangered. For example, a user can ‘print’ an accessory for mobile bearing the logo of the device for which it is intended, a practice more common in workshops and on 3D printing sites. Manufacturers must prepare for the prospect of seeing objects bearing their brand but not equaling the authentic product quality level, the risk of taint the reputation of the brand and to engage the consumer confidence in the quality of its products.