European Parliament might raise a barrier to innovation in 3D Printing

At the beginning of this month, the European Parliament announced a non-binding resolution regarding intellectual property rights and civil liability in 3D printing.

With 631 votes in favour, 27 against and 19 abstentions, the resolution highlights the advantages of 3D printing for the economy and society, the potential of 3D printing in a wide range of industries and the need for a regulation that might facilitate and accelerate the certification process for additively manufactured parts.

Until now, everything seems clear and obvious. However, according to this resolution, the European Commission would consider a revision of the Liability and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) regulatory framework for 3D printing in the EU. A particular attention will be made on national copyright levy systems for 3D printing.

Cecimo explained in a press release that if this resolution becomes a reality, therefore, it would not take into account the negative consequences on innovation and economic inefficiencies. Copyright levy systems for instance, compel professionals to face several administrative procedures in order to develop 3D printing in Europe.

That’s why Cecimo urges “the European Institutions to firmly differentiate between business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) uses of the technology, when approaching 3D printing from a regulatory perspective. 3D printing production methods are already subject to a high level of requirements in the sectors where this production method is applied.”

In order to encourage the adoption of technology across Europe, it is necessary to avoid new regulatory actions on liability and IPR, which would stifle innovation and slow down the uptake of 3D printing in EU countries.

The adoption of this Resolution requires a mandatory response within three months from the European Commission, which has been requested to outline its views and intentions on this topic. CECIMO will continue to engage closely with European Commission officials to raise the message that the current patchwork of liability and IPR rules is already fit for purpose in the European 3D printing landscape
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