3D Printing, IPR and Medical Emergencies: In Search of New Flexibilities

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt


“The COVID-19 pandemic has exponentially accelerated the use of 3D printing (3DP) technologies in healthcare. Surprisingly, we saw almost no public IPR dispute concerning the 3D printed medical equipment produced to cope with this crisis. Yet, it can be assumed that a great variety of IPR could potentially have been enforced against the use of various equipment that have been printed out without express consent from IP holders. Many reasons might have motivated IP owners not to enforce their rights during the pandemic, such as fear of attracting a bad reputation during a declared situation of national emergency.
There is no internationally recognised general exception to IPR enforcement for health emergencies, while several sometimes ineffective tools, like compulsory licensing, or voluntary licensing arrangements and potential TRIPS waivers have been considered or used to alleviate access to and distribution of innovations in critical situations. During the Covid-19 emergency, this meant that the 3DP community operated in a state of relative uncertainty including risks of IP infringement.
This study contextualizes these issues for pandemic relevant 3DP printing. Building upon experience gathered during the COVID-19 pandemic, we look to the future to see what novel mechanisms within the IPR system could be considered to add the greater flexibility needed to more smoothly overcome situations such as global health emergencies through the help and support of digital technologies”.
TidsskriftIIC International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law
Udgave nummer8
Sider (fra-til)1149-1173
Antal sider25
StatusUdgivet - 2022

ID: 312989453