Conference presentation at FISCAR 2010, Aalto University, Helsinki [Draft]
Presented early 2010

What you (UK) really need to know in a nutshell:

Intellectual property implications of PIMS (UK Specific)

I conducted an analysis of the intellectual property implications of PIMS in early 2010 and found that UK IP laws designed for an ‘atoms’ world fail to protect the design product when it is digitised and produced personally. I won’t enter into discussions about the value of IP laws here but this poses an interesting dilemma for everyone concerned.

Registered & Unregistered designs ʻ…within the UK at least – private 3D printer owners making items for personal use and not for gain are exempt from the vast majority of IP constraints, and that commercial users, though more restricted, are less so than might be imagined.ʼ (Bradshaw, Bowyer and Haufe 2010)

Copyright & Design Files[T]he provisions of design and copyright law are such that it is not an infringement to create 3D printer designs for items protected by design right, to disseminate such designs or to use a 3D printer to make copies of the said item for personal, private use.ʼ (Bradshaw, Bowyer and Haufe 2010)

Patents ʻWhere a patented invention is capable of being made by a 3D printer, it therefore appears that the personal and private use is permissible, but disseminating 3DPDFs (even freely and with the intent that they be used for personal and private use) may be an infringing act.ʼ (Bradshaw, Bowyer and Haufe 2010)

Trademarks ʻSufficiently famous marks may be protected against competing use on any form of goods.ʼ’It appears uncontroversial that purely personal use ʻcannot be in the course of tradeʼ and so cannot infringe.ʼ (Bradshaw, Bowyer and Haufe 2010)


3 thoughts on “Intellectual Property Implications of File-shared Product Design.

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