Intellectual Property and Regulation
Edited by Dinusha Mendis, Mark Lemley and Matthew Rimmer
Chapter 13: ‘Substantial similarity’ under Australian design law: application to 3D printing
A defining characteristic of 3D printing technologies (or ‘additive manufacturing’) is its potential to disrupt many areas of law. This has led to speculation that the potential impact of 3D printing on design-led innovation could mirror the disruption to music and film industries from illegal downloads. This chapter seeks to extend on the recent work of others in Australia. It attempts to fill a previous gap in the literature relating to 3D printing and design infringement. Accordingly, the main focus of this chapter is directed at evaluating the current infringement provisions, and their application to 3D printing technologies. Presently, the remedies for preventing the unauthorised use of registered designs via 3D printing remain limited in the Australian context. Taking a targeted approach to this subject will hopefully open up debate on the potential difficulties facing designers when defending their design rights.
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