Customising the Future Through New Business Models: The Impact of 3D Printing and 3D Scanning on Mass Customisation and its Implications for Copyright Law
Authors: Mendis, D.
Customisation through 3D printing raises a number of questions that are particularly relevant to intellectual property and copyright law. For example, how easy is it to create or indeed re-create a physical product? At the same time, if a consumer significantly modifies an existing product during the process of customisation, who ultimately owns it? What is the legal position where a 3D model designed by a creator (owning the intellectual property) is 3D scanned and 3D printed? In the case of mass customisation, who has the right to claim ‘authorship’ and ‘ownership’ of the product? Furthermore, is it legal to make an exact copy of a 3D design or 3D printed product and what is the legal position if that copy which is subsequently mass-customised is shared on online platforms? This paper considers explores these questions amongst others in considering the copyright implications arising from 3D printing and 3D scanning as it relates to mass customisation.