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The Maker Movement and patenting concerns

It's the golden age of invention, thanks to the new Maker Movement, 3D printing and the ease of prototyping. That's good news for inventors.
But piracy and copyright concerns have also increased. Here is a look at how this is affecting inventors. It includes a look at the advantages that come with patenting your ideas.

The Maker Movement

With 3D printers, students in Rochester, NY are building rockets. Said one sixth-grader, “After making one thing, I couldn’t wait to make more.” The Maker Movement has become a part of the curriculum in schools across the country.

The movement involves firsthand experience creating new designs and then actually building them. Central to the process is the 3D printer, which encourages a range of skills. Students and inventors think up a new design, plan it, then do the coding that tells the printer what to construct.

The Maker Movement is unleashing ideas and getting teachers and students involved in hands-on creations. 3D printers and other new technology are allowing ideas that were science fiction just a few years ago to take shape in reality.

It’s not just students. Adults from millennials to boomers are learning the new technology. The result is new prototypes and inventions have skyrocketed in countries across the world. 3D printers and new technology have opened up new opportunities. But they’ve also brought new threats.

No protection

What students, teachers and garage inventors haven’t grasped is how easy it is for others to steal their ideas. Using 3D printers, pirates can quickly copy designs to make unauthorised replicas.

Intellectual property, or IP, experts are warning inventors about piracy issues, but making limited headway. Excited inventors are happily posting their print files on the internet. The idea is that friends, hobbyists and other makers can download them to try out.

As a result, IP professionals are predicting a repeat of what happened to the music industry. Napster and other services made file-sharing the songs ubiquitous online. Music companies suffered through years of litigation attempting to stop the practice.

Many inventors are unaware that what they upload is not protected. After the excitement of creation and sharing subsides, they may realize their designs have been pirated. It will come as a shock to most that they have no legal redress.

Protecting your intellectual property

As an inventor, it is important to investigate how to patent your designs. A patent is one of the oldest and most complete ways to retain the rights of your intellectual property. There are also other forms of legal protection available.

A patent protects the functionality of your product. In addition, protection like a Registered Design for the appearance of your product or a trademark for its branding can be helpful.

The patent process can be daunting to an individual inventor. Protecting your ideas requires that you do a global patent search, apply for the patent, file the paperwork and pay the fees. It is not a simple procedure and the laws are different in various countries.

But it is worth the effort in order to safeguard your intellectual property and give you legal rights to it. Many inventors seek the assistance of patent advisers, professionals with experience in navigating the patent process.

8 Feb 2016 11:46

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About Boris Dzhingarov

Boris Dzhingarov graduated UNWE with a major in marketing. He is the CEO of ESBO ltd brand mentioning agency. He writes for several online sites such as Tech.co, Semrush.com, Tweakyourbiz.com, Socialnomics.net. Boris is the founder of MonetaryLibrary.com and cryptoext.com.




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