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Remember that scene from “The Fifth Element” when Leeloo is reconstituted using her DNA as a blueprint? Did you ever want your own Replicator from Star Trek? Within the last few years, hype about 3D printing has steadily grown and the stuff of Sci-Fi dreams is closer to becoming a reality. 3D printing has already allowed surgeons to partially reconstruct a person’s face and even print food! We’re not quite all the way to having our own personal Replicator, but rapid advances in 3D printing are bringing us closer every day.
These rapid advances in technology also raise interesting new legal questions.For example:
Does the creator of a 3D-printable file always own the file?
What can or can’t be done with a 3D-printable file that is owned by someone else?
When an object is printed, who owns it?
The goal of this guide is to answer these types of questions as well as introduce you to 3D printing. In the spirit of keeping our answers short and straightforward, we have separated general intellectual property concepts and definitions into their own sections at the end of this guide so readers that want to learn more about any of the legal concepts in this guide can.
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