With Emergence of 3D Printing, Some Companies Can Think Ahead

Some months ago we published a blog post highlighting the potential copyright issues related to the emergence of newer, cheaper, and more accessible 3D printers. While there have yet to be any high profile lawsuits surrounding 3D printing, many believe that the threat it poses on copyright should not to be taken lightly.

Lego, a company that has accomplished major financial success in the past couple of years, is the type of company particularly susceptible to 3D printing infringement due to the relative ease of recreating its toys. According to venturebeat.com, the solution for companies like Lego will be to jump on board with digitization by providing templates for users to print existing toys as well as recreate their own designs.

Much like the movie and publishing industries (though publishing industry has been slower to jump on board) have adapted their models following technological changes, companies that manufacture physical products like Lego should anticipate similar changes as a result of 3D printing.

Today’s consumers are a wise group, and while the music and publishing industries initially attempted to thwart users from illegally accessing copyrighted material through digital rights management technology, it didn’t take them long to find ways around it.

As opposed to fighting against the inevitability of infringement (think RIAA v. Napster, circa 1999), companies like Lego should follow in the footsteps of Apple, who in the wake of the digitization of music created its enormously successful iTunes music library.

Our blog highlights many of the changes in technology from a legal perspective. We will continue to stay abreast of technology trends in order to provide our clients with the best possible service. To learn more about our firm, visit pattersonlawfirm.com or call (312) 223-1699.

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