The proliferation of low cost 3D printing and scanning is changing the world. But what are the legal implications? At first glance, the concerns appear similar to the well-known copyright dilemmas of the digital age. But on closer inspection, the questions are stranger and more incredible: Who is the author of an automated, machine-generated 3D portrait? Does your 3D printed pizza infringe a patent? Could your home-printed replica Nike shoes expose loopholes in trade-mark laws? How does patent exhaustion deal with self-replicating machines? We’ll examine these questions and more as we discuss both the legal challenges and opportunities created by these technologies.
Paul Banwatt is a lawyer licensed in New York and Ontario, and is general counsel to Matterform Inc., maker of the world’s first affordable, high tolerance 3D scanner. Prior to going in-house, Paul‘s legal practice was dedicated to innovative and creative industries and included software and technology, copyright, trade-mark and patent litigation, government relations and advocacy, global health law, and social finance. Paul’s also practiced entertainment law. As a musician, Paul’s bands (The Rural Alberta Advantage, Woodhands) received two 2012 Juno nominations, charted on the Billboard U.S. Top 200, played at the 2011 Coachella Music Festival, and have been featured in numerous publications including Spin, NME, Playboy Magazine, The New York Times and The Globe and Mail. Paul has a J.D. and a B.A. in Political Science and Economics, both from the University of Toronto.