Protecting 3D Printing Related Inventions

3D printing is one of the fastest growing areas in which applicants seek U.S. patent protection, with a significant rise in U.S. published patent applications in additive manufacturing in the 5-year period from 2014-2019. The market for 3D printing continues to grow and analysts have forecasted that its overall economic impact will reach upwards of $100 billion by 2025.  Marshall Gerstein has been working with clients to build and manage 3D printing related intellectual property matters since this technology began to grow.

Marshall Gerstein has assisted clients with 3D printing technology and associated intellectual property matters in a variety of manufacturing technologies and technical industries, including:

  • Medical devices
  • Dental instruments and products
  • Process control systems
  • Valves, actuators, and regulator systems
  • Printing systems and machines

Broadly described, 3D printing is any form of additive manufacturing that builds a 3D object by extruding material onto a platform in progressive layers. 3D printers and printing technologies have been around for about 30 years, but only more recently has their adoption become widespread in industries like automotive manufacturing, healthcare and large-scale manufacturing.

A variety of factors have contributed to the rise of 3D printing technology, including superior machines, improved printing material, and lower costs. Another important factor has been the expiration of several patents covering core 3D printing and additive manufacturing technologies. This led to an increase in market participants. Between 2013 and 2017, the 5-year growth rate for U.S. published patent applications in Additive Manufacturing (Patent Classification B33Y) grew at a compound annual rate of 35%, and the growth continues. Between 2014 and 2019, the number of U.S. published patent applications in Additive Manufacturing (Patent Classification B33Y) increased both per year and over the 5-year period, as depicted in the graph below.  

Marshall Gerstein advises and assists clients in protecting 3D printing technology, including related hardware and software, in the U.S. and around the world. Our team includes highly experienced attorneys, patent agents, and technical specialists, with mechanical, biomedical, electrical and computer engineering degrees and backgrounds, who prepare and prosecute 3D printing related patent applications and assist clients in a variety of related matters. From this seasoned team, Marshall Gerstein has established a 3D Printing Taskforce as part of our Medical Devices Practice Group. Our 3D Printing Taskforce members regularly attend and participate in industry conferences related to 3D printing technology, have presented on 3D printing issues in patent law, and have authored articles in industry publications such as AIPLA INNOVATE Magazine and 3Dprint.com.