Can 3D Digital Models Be Patented?
3D printing has become more and more accessible for a variety of different industries, and now, sometime this summer, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will decide whether 3D digital models can be patented. It is a particularly tricky legal issue because the circuit’s discussion centers around the computer files of the 3D-printable models, rather than the finished printed models themselves. The case involves Align Technology, a company that owns several patents relating to methods to produce orthodontic teeth aligners, including those for Invisalign, which is an alternative to metal braces.
Does something have to be tangible to be patentable? Read more about the law surrounding 3D printing.
In addition to Thriving Attorney, Darin M. Klemchuk is founder of Klemchuk LLP, a litigation, intellectual property, and transactional law firm located in Dallas, Texas. He also co-founded Project K, a charity devoted to changing the world one random act of kindness at a time. Click to read more about Darin Klemchuk's practice as an intellectual property lawyer.