Gartner analysts predict that by 2018 there will be $100 billion per year in intellectual property losses as a result of 3D printing.
The Federal Circuit has recently made a ruling that could have a significant impact on 3D printing and digital data being transmitted from outside of the US. In the case ClearCorrect Operating LLC v. Intl Trade Comm’n, No. 2014-1527, held on November 10th, 2015, the Federal Circuit ruled that the ITC has no jurisdiction over digital data, including 3D printing files, transmitted into the United States from abroad because they cannot be considered ‘material things.’
U.S.C. section 1337 (a) gives the ITC jurisdiction only over unfair acts involving the importation of ‘articles’—which the Federal Circuit interprets explicitly as ‘material things.’ Thus, the ITC cannot police or control 3D models given that they exist in the digital, rather than the physical realm.
When reading the article about 3d printing and data transmission on Lexology, I found this to be very problematic. If 3d space has a sense of scale and proportions, it can then be replicated in a physical form to the exact measurements and details from the model itself. An exact replicate of the original. Just as easy as it is to duplicate a model with a simple command, it is currently fair game for foreign industries to print any 3d file, an exact copy, without any fear of punishment. From my understanding the ITC, International Trade Commission, has nothing in place to police or control 3d models so its chalked up to it has no jurisdiction about 3D files and where and who are able to print them.
For example, if I took a year to design an amazing product, and I happened to send it overseas for manufacturing, the manufacturer has the capability to “show” the item to a “designer.” Then this “designer” can send them either back to the manufacturer or even send it back to the US and print them without any retribution….WTH.
To much time in development in the design of a product is problematic for the firm of the industrial designer hard work to be reduced to becoming a copy and paste function.
This is one of the main reasons we created D3CRYPT3D. As 3d printing technologies are on the rise and the price of these devices fall, IP’s and trade secrets are being threatened and at the end of the day it punishes creatives and development of amazing ideas and products on a whole.
D3CRYPT3D is placing metrics in place with the model. We are putting more features in, but we believe that proof of concept and ideal is the biggest issue of the new world of 3d printing and additive manufacturing. Its not a perfect solution, but its a start.
If you have any suggestions or responses, feel free to post them here. I’ll do my best to answer them.