“Patent Filings Describe Materials Under Consideration for Moon Habitats”

May 31, 2024

Extraterrestrial innovation is underway, as evidenced by patent filings for delivering and using 3D printing technology for additive manufacturing of structures on the moon. Marshall Gerstein partner, Kate Nuehring Su, and one of our patent agents, Ria Patel, authored a column for ENR (Engineering News-Record) that suggests that international patent protection will be required for these developments.

Kate and Ria write, “While the developments described above are specific to construction in outer space, international collaboration and competition in technical advancements are not. As such, anybody participating in the global marketplace must become familiar not only with U.S. patent law but also with the patent laws in effect in other countries. Getting a patent in one country does not result in protection in other countries, so a patent applicant must consider filing in multiple countries.”

Escaping the atmosphere doesn’t necessarily mean patent law can be forgotten.

“The Patents in Space Act of 1990 states that any invention made, used, or sold in outer space on, for example, a spaceship under the jurisdiction or control of the U.S. is considered to be made, used, or sold on U.S. territory with exceptions for international agreements and registrations. Germany has also modified its patent law to ensure that its patent law can, in certain circumstances, apply in outer space.”

Inventive astronauts and Earthlings interested in learning more about the international competition in the space race and patent protection can read Kate and Ria’s article here.

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