Wednesday, April 9, 2014
The 3D Printing Deluge
Hewlett-Packard ("HP") bestrides the printer market like a carbon copy collosus, accounting for almost 40% of all printers sold in 2013. Now, HP intends to add another dimension to its reproductive arsenal by invading the market for 3D printing ("3DP"). Why enter the realm of additive manufacturing in 2014, one might ask? Aside from the inducement of torrid growth in 3DP adoption by both consumers and companies, one reason may be the mass expiration of key additive manufacturing patents in 2013 and 2014. Not only does 3D printing pose an existential threat to patent-protected artifacts, but patents that have heretofore held back the flood of additive manufacturing of almost any object imaginable are experiencing a mass extinction. Expect an accompanying flood of intellectual property litigation to define the frontiers of this new world of making.