3D printing and trademarks – the challenges and opportunities ahead

While it is still early days for the technology, the market is growing and a range of brands have already started incorporating 3D printing into their manufacturing, marketing and market delivery processes. Clearly, there is momentum behind the additive manufacturing revolution; and for brand owners, the technology brings both opportunity and risk.

Analysts from tech research and advisory firm Gartner recently identified 3D printing (also referred to as ‘additive manufacturing’) as one of the top 10 technology trends to follow in 2015. With worldwide shipments of 3D printers expected to increase by 98% this year (followed by a doubling of unit shipments in 2016), “3D printing will reach a tipping point over the next three years as the market for relatively low-cost 3D printing devices continues to grow rapidly and industrial use expands significantly. New industrial, biomedical and consumer applications will continue to demonstrate that 3D printing is a real, viable and cost-effective means to reduce costs through improved designs, streamlined prototyping and short-run manufacturing”.

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Issue 71