When it comes to IPRs, 3D printing technologies are a double-edged sword. The ability, for everyone, to manufacture at the touch of a button creates both unlimited potential and significant challenges. Indeed, 3D printing not only brings the opportunities of the digital world to the physical world, but also its challenges, one of which is consumer piracy.
Will consumers tomorrow pirate as many physical goods as they do today with digital goods? If so, what can firms do about it? The IP related issues brought about by 3D printing actually go far beyond that. As consumers become prosumers, key intellectual assets are built upon the wisdom of crowds and the inventiveness of individual customers. Likewise, corporate innovations are often built upon the contributions of several organisations.
In such a context, the questions raised are: ‘what is a good use of IPRs? What is the adequate governance structure? What is the balance between creating value and capturing value?’
The topics discussed in this session are: How businesses can rethink their business models to tackle IP issues; How companies can control information and rights when co-designing products with external parties; How customers’ contributions can be assessed and rewarded within an IP framework.