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Unrealized Value or Lurking Risks? Intellectual Property Opportunities and Threats in the Additive Manufacturing Industry

  • today
  • access_time 11:00 - 11:25 AM EDT
  • location_onRoom 140E
  • blur_circularConference
  • monetization_onPaid Upgrade
  • schoolEvaluation

While additive manufacturing (“AM”) can offer new supply efficiencies and thus is being increasingly adopted by product designers and manufacturers of all sizes, its still relatively early stage of adoption creates both untapped value and potential legal hazards. The presentation will help companies evaluate the opportunities and legal risks faced when implementing AM into their product design, manufacturing and distribution processes, and when manufacturing and selling products having at least parts of which are amenable to reproduction through AM techniques. We will specifically address the varied types of intellectual property (IP) protection that come up in implementing AM practices, including specific examples of forms of IP protections that have been employed in the AM space. We will review types of business practices, including use of “black box” designs, properly structuring license agreements to customers, use of protections on digital files, and other practices that leverage those IP protections to protect against IP theft and minimize risks of infringement. We will also analyze a practical, hypothetical case study of a third party product designer / seller of consumer devices engaging an AM manufacturer to produce a newly designed product, and what both should do to protect their own IP and shield against potential liability. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the types of intellectual property protections that are applicable to their own additive manufacturing practices and how to obtain those protections.
  • Identify improved business practices that exploit their intellectual property rights to protect value and minimize legal risks.
  • Gregory M. Stone Esq.
    Partner and Co-Chair, Technology & Intellectual Property Group
    Whiteford, Taylor & Preston L.L.P.