3D Printing Law Newest MMM Focus

Atlanta (March 2, 2015) – 3D printing is one of the newest and most exciting technologies for both businesses and consumers. Since almost anyone can use it, many predict it will soon become part of everyday life. Since disruptive technology can lead to disruptive legal issues, 3D printing is one of the newest areas of focus for the Intellectual Property team at Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP.

3D printing can be used to make everything from toys to prosthetic limbs – even entire cars. Astronauts on the International Space Station are using it to create tools and other objects. The technology could have long-ranging impacts on business sectors including manufacturing, retailing, transportation, logistics, the supply chain, marketing, customer service and many more. Legal issues users could face include safety, liability, financing and revenue models as well as patent, trademark and copyright issues.

“The types of objects you can create with 3D printing are nearly endless, as are potential legal issues the technology raises,” said MMM attorney Ben Warlick. “At this early stage, it looks like the low barriers to entry may lead to rampant copying, creating issues similar to the early digital music industry. But unlike digital music, this touches almost every industry.”

Warlick will speak on a panel about the intellectual property challenges of the emerging technology at the IEEE Computer Society’s “Rockstars of 3D-Printing Conference” in San Jose, California March 17. The event is described a high-level, one-day discussion to help attendees understand what’s next in the area.

Recently, 3D printing was in the news when lawyers for pop star Katy Perry tried to stop an artist from making and selling replicas of the “left shark” from her Super Bowl halftime show. The maker responded by offering free downloads of his design.

“What is important to our clients in this space is crafting efficient, effective intellectual property strategies, which may be challenging and industry specific,” adds MMM attorney Bryan Stewart. “It is unclear how the law will evolve in this area and we want to help businesses learn as much as they can so they are well-prepared for the future.”

Morris, Manning & Martin began moving into the area due to its experience advising startup and middle market technology companies on a variety of growth issues.

About Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP

Morris, Manning & Martin (www.mmmlaw.com) is an AmLaw 200 law firm with national and international reach. We dedicate ourselves to the constant pursuit of our clients’ success. To provide our clients with optimal value, we combine market-leading legal services with a total understanding of their needs to maximize effectiveness, efficiency and opportunity. MMM enjoys national prominence for its real estate, corporate, litigation, technology, healthcare, intellectual property, energy & infrastructure, capital markets, environmental, international trade, insurance, and timberland & forest products practices. MMM has offices in Atlanta, Raleigh-Durham, Savannah, Taipei, Beijing and Washington, D.C. and an alliance with GCN in São Paulo, Brazil.


Media Contact for MMM: Terri Thornton, (404) 932-4347, Terri@TerriThornton.com