3D Printing

3D printing is quite possibly the next greatest chapter in the industrial revolution, and the technology is moving rapidly. 3D printing, also known by the more technical term “additive manufacturing,” has been around since the 1980s. In the past few years, however, the technology has developed rapidly and the prices of 3D printers have dropped substantially, with 3D printing becoming a significant industry with tremendous innovative potential for many applications, from dental and medical, to automotive, aerospace, military, fashion, food, eyewear, and construction.

Forecasters predict that 3D printing will democratize manufacturing, allowing every individual with the means to buy a printer to become a manufacturer and market his or her products to others. As such, 3D printing presents a myriad of legal challenges, and Reed Smith’s 3D printing task force is poised to assist.

Although much of the law is still unfolding, Reed Smith is already handling legal matters involving 3D printing, including seeking patent protection for 3D printing technology and computer-aided 3D prototyping devices. Our cross-disciplinary 3D Printing Team includes lawyers well-versed in health care reimbursement, intellectual property, commercial litigation, insurance coverage, data privacy, private equity investment, environmental issues, collaboration, co-promotion and licensing agreements, clinical trials, data privacy, indemnity, and regulatory issues. Team members closely follow the developing legal landscape with respect to 3D printing, and are well prepared to provide assistance to companies in the 3D printing industry as regulatory, reimbursement, and litigation issues develop.

Our team is able to support the wide variety of companies entering this industry, including medical device, pharmaceutical, and industrial manufacturers; health care providers; and other manufacturing clients producing or utilizing 3D printing technology and devices. Our lawyers routinely write and speak about a variety of 3D printing topics, including a recent white paper, “3D Printing of Medical Devices: When a Novel Technology Meets Traditional Legal Principles,” which explores the legal ramifications and risks of the rapidly increasing use of 3D printing of medical devices.