Since the first patent was issued in the US in 1790 — to Samuel Hopkins for a process of making potash — there have been lawsuits involving infringements on intellectual property. These have led to countless injunctions being filed over the years. Although the essential definition of intellectual property has remained consistent, the development of new technology has broadened its scope significantly.
In the more recent years, the onset of 3D printing has been added to this scope. Because 3D printers create replicas of parts, products and models, they naturally open up a whole host concerns involving intellectual property.
The Onset of 3D Printing
In the grand scope of things, 3D printing is still a relatively new technology. While large-scale commercial models have been around for decades, it wasn’t until about 2009 that they became available to the general public. Although commercial 3D printing started gaining steam in the 1990s, the technology has only recently been widely used by manufacturers as well as the general public. Some 3D printers can be purchased for as little as $200 online, meaning even the smallest independent business owner can use them to manufacture and sell products.
An Increase in Injunctions
Gartner, Inc, a leading information technology research and advisory company, recently predicted that 3D printing will result in IP owners losing more than $100 billion in revenue annually. With this amount of money at risk, there is sure to be a large increase in IP lawsuits and injunctions being filed.
What it Means For Surety
Attorneys and their clients would do well to brush up on the requirements and process of obtaining an injunction bond, which is often required by the courts when it comes to cases involving patent and copyright infringement. As 3D printing continues to become more common in manufacturing, there is likely to be a large increase in IP infringement lawsuits as well as the injunction bonds that go with them.
For more information on the surety process and how to obtain an injunction bond, contact The Patrick J. Thomas Agency today.
Disclaimer: this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. If you need legal counsel, please contact an attorney directly.