Combating Counterfeiting derived by 3D Printing: Consumer Products
There is a need for clarification and classification for products produced by the 3D printing process. For copyright, the decision in Lucasfilm is seen as an obstacle in the pursuit of obtaining copyright for authors of artistic works. The notion of ‘art’ and the creative aspect of commercial products lead the argument for Intellectual Property Rights protection. The paper recognises the interlink and overlap between the manufacturing industry within the realm of 3D printed consumer goods and questions whether the ambiguous legal position relating to 3D printing is inadvertently creating a divide and conflict between the manufacturing industry and the consumer market. The viewpoint is that art, when successful, will be counterfeited due to the relationship between public taste and merchandising, and that this lends itself well to the consideration of counterfeit products serving the public appetite for aesthetically pleasing branded goods. As 3D printing becomes more commonplace within the commercial market, the spotlight shall surely be on the courts with respect to defining legal provisions and the need to perhaps develop the law further to accommodate digital innovation; and it is this area which is currently holding much interest for legal academic researchers.