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CLE Seminar - The Impact of 3D Printing Technology on Intellectual Property Law

When: Thursday, September 28, 2017 - 09:30 to 11:45
Venue: School of Law, Level 2, Seminar Room 2-02, 55 Armenian Street, Singapore 179943


In this lecture, Professor Calboli will analyze the emergence of three-dimensional (3D) printing technology, its impact on a variety of industries, and on the existing intellectual property regime. The rapid advance of 3D printing combined with the decreasing cost of 3D printers has brought the topic to the forefront of the intellectual property debate. Similar to previous introductions of new (disruptive) technologies, 3D printing has the potential to revolutionize a large number of industries. Thus, calls for concern have been voiced stressing its possible negative impact on product manufacturing and distribution in general, and on the protection of intellectual property rights in particular. In this respect, 3D printing has already been said to be “counterfeiter’s best friend” and intellectual property owners have offered several suggestions to prevent 3D printing’s possible negative effects. These suggestions generally involve calls to increase the existing protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights. In her lecture, Professor Calboli recognizes that 3D printing represents a challenge for traditional business models, yet she also stresses that 3D printing offers an important opportunity for the industry itself. Consequently, she argues that regulators need to carefully consider and probably resist the pressures to over-regulate 3D printing with intellectual property protection. In particular, granting such additional protection may in the long term negatively impact the industry and consumers.



Irene Calboli is Lee Kong Chian Fellow, Visiting Professor, and Deputy Director of the Applied Research Centre for Intellectual Assets and the Law in Asia, School of Law, Singapore Management University. She is also Professor of Law at Texas A&M University School of Law, and Fellow at the Transatlantic Technology Law Forum at Stanford Law School. Her recent scholarship focuses on IP laws in ASEAN with a specific interest on trademarks, geographical indications, and cultural assets. She is an elected member of the American Law Institute and an associate member of the Singapore Academy of Law. She serves in several leadership roles, including as member of the Council of the International Law Association (Singapore Branch), Chair-Elect of the Art Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools, and member of the Legislation and Regulation Committee of the International Trademark Association. 


Public CPD Points - 2 points 

This programme is an Accredited CPD Activity under the SILE’s CPD Scheme. Participants who wish to claim CPD Points are reminded that they must comply strictly with the Attendance Policy set out in the CPD Guidelines. This includes signing-in on arrival and signing-out at the conclusion of the activity in the manner required by the organiser, and not being absent from the entire activity for more than 15 minutes. Participants who do not comply with the Attendance Policy will not be able to obtain CPD Points for attending the activity. Please refer to for more information.

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Last updated on 16 May 2018 .