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The co-existence of copyright and patent laws to protect innovation: case study of 3D printing in UK and Australian Law


Mendis, D and Nielsen, J and Nicol, D and li, P, The co-existence of copyright and patent laws to protect innovation: case study of 3D printing in UK and Australian Law, The Oxford Handbook of Law, Regulation and Technology, Oxford University Press, R Brownsword, E Scotford and K Yeung (ed), United Kingdom, pp. 451-476. ISBN 9780199680832 (2017) [Research Book Chapter]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 The several contributors

DOI: doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199680832.013.80


"Patents and copyrights, more than any other class of cases belonging to forensic discussions, approach what may be called the metaphysics of law, where the distinctions are, or at least may be, very subtle and refined, and, sometimes, almost evanescent." Justice Joseph Story
This chapter, divided into two main parts, considers the coexistence of copyright and patent laws in responding to innovative technologies, using 3D printing as a case study. The reasons for focusing on copyright and patent laws are twofold. First, since the initial development of 3D printing technologies, 9145 patents related to those technologies have been published worldwide (from 1980 to 2013) (UK Intellectual Property Office 2013), indicating a high level of patent activity in this field. Second, it is clear that a 3D-printed object can only become a reality if it is based on a good design file (Lipson and Kurman 2013: 12), and it is this specific element that separates 3D printing from traditional manufacturing. The presence of a 'creative' dimension in the process of 3D design and 3D modelling leading to 3D printing requires a consider.ation of its status and protection under both copyright and patent laws (Guarda 2013).

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:copyright, IP, patent laws
Research Division:Law and Legal Studies
Research Group:Private law and civil obligations
Research Field:Intellectual property law
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Other law, politics and community services
Objective Field:Other law, politics and community services not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Nielsen, J (Associate Professor Jane Nielsen)
ID Code:115834
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:Law
Deposited On:2017-04-12
Last Modified:2018-05-15

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