IP issues in 3D printing
Produced in partnership with David Knight of Fieldfisher LLP
IP issues in 3D printing

The following IP practice note produced in partnership with David Knight of Fieldfisher LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • IP issues in 3D printing
  • What is 3D printing?
  • Use of 3D printing in commercial manufacture
  • Use of 3D printing in private non-commercial manufacture
  • Patents
  • Printing at home
  • Printing part of a complex product
  • Printing spare parts for the purpose of repair
  • Designs
  • Registered design rights
  • More...

IP COMPLETION DAY: 11pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020 marks the end of the Brexit transition/implementation period entered into following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. At this point in time (referred to in UK law as ‘IP completion day’), key transitional arrangements come to an end and significant changes begin to take effect across the UK’s legal regime. This document contains guidance on subjects impacted by these changes. Before continuing your research, see Practice Note: What does IP completion day mean for intellectual property?

As of exit day (31 January 2020) the UK is no longer an EU Member State. However, in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK has entered an implementation period, during which it continues to be subject to EU law. This has an impact on this Practice Note. For further guidance, see Practice Note: What does IP completion day mean for intellectual property?

What is 3D printing?

Conventionally objects have been made by casting in a mould or by machining material from a block of steel, wood or the like or some combination of such techniques. 3D printing, also referred to as additive manufacturing, approaches manufacture from a different direction, and builds up an object layer by layer under computer control using a digital design file. This digital design file, which is typically generated from a 3D CAD (computer-aided design) file of

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