Thanks to my colleague Salim Dharssi at Gilbert’s LLP for pointing me to this article by Neil Wilkof at IP Finance. Tying nicely into yesterday’s post, Wilkof questions the assumption that effective IP protection in the context of 3D printing will aid in fostering a new American manufacturing renaissance.
For one thing, the US will not enjoy a monopoly in the use of 3-D manufacturing technology… Secondly, it is not clear in which direction IP protection will go—and in particular whether greater or lesser copyright protection will be accorded. Thus, arrangements for public access of 3-D manufacturing designs might well result in low, rather than high copyright protection, where the interest of the common good is placed above the rights of any single individual. Thirdly, IP protection might not really matter at the end of the day; the correlation between successful 3-D manufacturing and robust IP protection might be low.