While the actual technology may have been invented over two decades ago, 3D printing has only now started to become a major industrial manufacturing process. Even now that it is rapidly becoming a regular part of our day to day lives, 3D printing is still a very new, emergent technology in a lot of ways. In terms of legality, the 3D printing industry is essentially the wild west, there are very few laws and regulations in place and those laws that are applied to the industry rarely do what they’re supposed to do. If anything will be defining 3D printing in the next few years while the industry continues to expand, it is how the law will treat the industry and the various legal battles yet to be fought.
A Cleveland-based law firm named Benesch is one of the few law firms that is stepping out into the growing fray of 3D printing legality and trying to figure out how current laws will be applied to copyrights and trademarks. The law firm actually has a 3D Printing Group that has been examining legal issues related to 3D printing for a few years now. They are asking the tough questions about 3D printing technology that no one else seems to be asking.
As part of their efforts to educate their clients, as well as any potential clients, about the potential pitfalls of 3D printing technology, Benesch is holding their second annual 3D Printing Conference. The event is called “What Every Business Must Know Today About 3D Printing” and will be held on April 21st at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Cleveland. While the event is free to attend, attendees are still encouraged to register ahead of time. The day-long conference is set to start as 11:45 am and run until 5:45 pm, although naturally there will be networking and cocktails afterwards.
The conference will include talks and seminars from industry and legal experts and several Ohio business leaders. It will also include presentations on the latest technologies, opportunities and challenges for the 3D printing industry. Topics of discussion will include how the manufacturing industry is being reshaped by 3D printing, 3D printed product liability issues and the future of the maker movement. The conference will also focus on the potential of businesses licensing digital files rather than selling physical products and how 3D printing could generate intellectual property losses of $100 billion by the year 2018.
The 3D Printing Conference was created by partner Mark E. Avsec, who also leads the Benesch 3D Printing Group. He regularly blogs about 3D printing issues and events, as well as speaks about 3D printing and law. Avsec’s his unconventional career has made him uniquely qualified to lead the Benesch 3D Printing Group. He has been a copyright, trademark, and media lawyer for over twenty years, and focuses his practice on old versus new media, including music and other entertainment-related technology licensing issues.
The legal issues that are expected to start impacting the 3D printing industry are often compared to the legal issues that are faced by the music industry, so it’s a good thing that Avsec knows the music industry very well. Before earning his law degree, he was a studio musician, producer and songwriter who has written more than 500 songs and produced or performed on more than 35 albums, working with music industry legends as diverse as Carlos Santana to Bon Jovi. You can learn more about the Benesch 3D Printing Conference here, and learn more about Mark E. Avsec on his bio page. Discuss further in the Cleveland 3D Printing Conference forum over at 3DPB.com.