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The European Patent Office (EPO) and European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) are jointly hosting an online conference on one of the most dynamic technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution: additive manufacturing (AM). Often referred to as 3D printing, this fast-moving technology is reshaping traditional manufacturing.
AM now allows us to make products that were previously considered unmakeable: prosthetics, artificial coral reefs, aircraft components and even 3D-printed homes. These products can be customised, logistics costs can be cut, and manufacturing cycles can be sped up. AM is everywhere and used in sectors as diverse as fashion, medicine, automotive and aerospace. The opportunities are immense. But what challenges does it pose, particularly when it comes to intellectual property (IP)? 3D printing impacts diverse areas of IP protection including copyright, patents and design rights. Is the IP system ready to face these challenges?
During the week, experts - ranging from policymakers, entrepreneurs and investors to inventors and patent and trade mark attorneys - will share their experience and perspectives. It promises to be a lively and engaging event for SMEs, researchers, IP professionals, policymakers and business leaders.