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Intellectual Property Issues with 3D Printing

May 16, 2014

Intellectual Property and 3D printing don’t get talked about often, mainly because 3D printing is still growing into a mainstream activity. But with 3D printing starting to become more accessible to businesses and homes, what kind of Intellectual Property issues might develop that your business will need to protect or analyze?

Protecting Original 3D Creations

Any blueprint of a 3D design can be protected through copyright. And if your business is a creative one where people are creating original 3D files, this is going to be a necessary step as an interesting direction in creating new media works. However, many existing blueprints already exist for specific 3D objects. If your business happens to print one of those designs that you didn’t create yourself, you could face copyright infringement if you plan to profit off the objects.

Just as you would with any other creative work of art, you have to check if it’s available in the public domain before you can make money off of it. When using an existing blueprint for a 3D object, check online to see if it’s copyrighted and who the creator was. You can contact them for permission once you confirm their existence.  (more…)