Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Digital Technologies
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Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Digital Technologies

Edited by Tanya Aplin

This Handbook provides a scholarly and comprehensive account of the multiple converging challenges that digital technologies present for intellectual property (IP) rights, from the perspectives of international, EU and US law. Despite the fast-moving nature of digital technology, this Handbook provides profound reflections on the underlying normative legal dilemmas, identifying future problems and suggesting how digital IP issues should be dealt with in the future.
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Chapter 22: Fit for purpose? 3D printing and the implications for design law: opportunities and challenges

Dinusha Mendis


This chapter explores the implications for UK and EU registered and unregistered design rights as a result of 3D printing. The chapter commences with an overview of the design rights law in the UK and EU before moving on to a consideration of the challenges posed by 3D printing. In this context, the chapter considers the legal status of a computer aided design (CAD) file within the context of registered and unregistered design, before proceeding to consider the implications presented through infringement and possible exceptions available for users. Highlighting challenges and raising questions on design laws’ ability to provide stringent enforcement for rights holders, the chapter outlines potential recommendations, drawn from patent and copyright laws, before concluding with some thoughts for the future particularly in view of recent developments both in the UK and in the EU.

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