The Impact of 3D Printing on Canadian Trademark Law: Selected Issues and Potential Solutions
Author(s): James Plotkin
The advent of three-dimensional (3D) printing may prove to be the most important technological innovation since the Internet. If and when 3D printing enters the mainstream, a paradigm shift in the way we consume and distribute goods might occur. The technology could enable one to print useful and artistic objects at home, obviating the need for much of the current supply chain for some goods. While 3D printing holds promise, legal and business hurdles lie ahead. Intellectual property (IP) rights holders are sure to be some of the most affected by 3D printing. The IP implications of 3D-printing technology are myriad, transcending patent, trademark, industrial design, and copyright law. Although much of the discussion thus far has centred on patent and copyright law, this article explores and analyzes some of 3D printing’s potential impact on Canadian trademark law.