Patents, Meet Napster: The Disruptive Power of Three-Dimensional Printing

Speaker  Deven Desai

Host  Nancy Baym

Affiliation  Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Duration  00:56:22

Date recorded  2 May 2013

The Industrial Revolution was founded on economies of scale, but the next transformation in manufacturing may come from individual households. An additive (or 3D) printer is a desktop machine that can make customized physical objects from software and simple raw materials. This device promises to dramatically reduce the cost of making and distributing tangible goods, but it could also sharply increase patent infringement. Indeed, 3D printers present a challenge to patent law that is analogous to the disruption of copyright by MP3 files. This talk explores the implications of 3D printing for patents.

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