The Co-Existence of Copyright and Patent Laws to Protect Innovation – A Case Study of 3D Printing in UK and Australian Law
Authors: Mendis, D., Nielsen, J., Nicol, D. and Li, P.
Editors: Brownsword, R., Scotford, E. and Yeung, K.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Place of Publication: Oxford
The chapter considers how effectively and harmoniously intellectual property (IP) regimes, in particular copyright and patent, respond to emerging technologies and innovation, such as 3D printing and 3D scanning. The chapter will commence with a brief introduction to 3D printing before moving on to a detailed analysis of UK and Australian jurisprudence as it relates to 3D printing and 3D scanning. Through this comparative analysis of the law, the chapter will explore the viability of copyright and patent laws to co-exist effectively in order to protect and exploit this emerging technology before moving on to a consideration of the potential infringements, which can be brought about by it. The chapter will conclude by reasoning that 3D printing like most other technologies has a universal reach, leading to an anomaly in legislating in different jurisdictions. In response, the authors explore the possibility of a sui generis regime of IP protection for 3D printing, but submit that a nuanced reworking of the existing regimes is, in the vast majority of circumstances, likely to be a sufficient response.