3-D Printing

Gerard Magliocca

Gerard N. Magliocca is the Samuel R. Rosen Professor at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Professor Magliocca is the author of three books and over twenty articles on constitutional law and intellectual property. He received his undergraduate degree from Stanford, his law degree from Yale, and joined the faculty after two years as an attorney at Covington and Burling and one year as a law clerk for Judge Guido Calabresi on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Professor Magliocca has received the Best New Professor Award and the Black Cane (Most Outstanding Professor) from the student body, and in 2008 held the Fulbright-Dow Distinguished Research Chair of the Roosevelt Study Center in Middelburg, The Netherlands. He was elected to the American Law Institute (ALI) in 2013.

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6 Responses

  1. Anon says:

    Michael Weinberg at Public Knowledge has a pretty thorough white paper going through the legal implications of 3D printing: http://publicknowledge.org/it-will-be-awesome-if-they-dont-screw-it-up.

  2. Brett Bellmore says:

    IIRC, you have to use the patented idea *to make money* in order to violate a patent. At the consumer end of things, if the wigistat in your thingamging breaks down, and you run off a copy to get it working again, YOU wouldn’t be violating the patent. Likewise making a toy for your child.

    The guy who gave you the design might be, though, if he charged for it.

  3. A.J. Sutter says:

    @ I don’t think it will necessarily be so easy to make things – you’ll need a software-based design. It may be that patent owners will make the design specs available commercially. So it might turn out to be easiest to make spare parts legally.

    @ In the US there is still fair use, so the model for your child could easily qualify. Again, though, you’d need the design, so there very well might be a commercially available alternative when it comes to famous buildings, say.

    @ Not only size but materials are important. At the moment, 3-D printing using metals seems not to be available in home-style printers, though that could of course change. Maybe in the future printers will be required to have a certain “signature” to make their products identifiable to the specific printer, in the way that typewriters are (at least in old cop shows), e.g. But while 3D printers enlarge the scope of the problem, it’s already here: think kitchen meth labs and all manner of other illicit drug, explosive, poison gas, factories. Home-made chemistry has been around a long time. Not only the possession, but the manufacture can be criminalized. What’s really new about that, legally?

  4. prometheefeu says:

    I know! Isn’t it wonderful?

  5. 952012 says:

    Welcome to the new digital information age. These old laws are not designed for this new world and don’t work here. We shouldn’t keep trying to hammer square peg laws into a round hole world.

    When the ability to copy information to near infinite and disseminate it to the world at nearly no cost (once the infrastructure is in place) and nearly instantaneously why should we block its dissemination?

    To protect the ones creating the ideas? For fear that if they are not protected they won’t produce anymore? I think we see people are more than willing to create products, literature, videos, entertainment, for free (see the explosive amount of user-contributed material to YouTube, the blogosphere, wikipedia).

  6. Brett Bellmore says:

    “What can we do about that short of increasing the punishments for people for are found to possess the banned items?”

    Repeal the laws?