Seminar on Internet of Things (IoT) and 3D printing in IP: a European/Japanese comparative analysis
IoT and 3D Printing, which are some of the hottest areas in current technological development, will allow virtually all electronic devices to communicate with each other, and facilitate the production of customized, even single piece products or prototypes. IoT will impact not only devices such as telephones and cars, but also infrastructure such as security systems, logistical systems, and door locks, etc. It will affect our daily life in almost every aspect by drastically accelerating the rate of digitalization and changing people's interaction with electric devices. 3D printing technology will allow for products to be created directly in the home of the customer. Although IoT and 3D printing are technologies of utmost importance, it is questionable, whether the existing framework of Intellectual Property ("IP") is suited to offer the necessary protection for innovations in these technical fields. 3D Printing may require the IP system to be adapted thereto because private manufacturing, or 3D copying which will be enabled by 3D printing, are exempted from the exclusive right of the IP system. Further, the increasing digitalization, connected with IoT enhances the need for protection of the corresponding software, communication devices and maybe even business models, which seem to be hardly possible with the current IP system. However, the history of the IP system tells us that the IP system itself is developed with each new technological area that arises.
This seminar was intended to cast a light on how the new technologies of IoT and 3D printing may benefit from the current IP system and reciprocally, how the IP system has to be adapted to such cutting-edge technologies.
The key points of discussion were as follows:
a) The current status of IoT and 3D printing from the point of view of intellectual property. Exploring further, the commonalities and differences in the examination process of Japan and Europe through reviewing most recent IoT and 3D printing related patent applications and inventions.
b) The scope and limit of the international framework of Intellectual Property reviewed with emphasis on Europe and Japan, to serve businesses in IoT and 3D printing.
c) Impacts on businesses were discussed in light of IoT and 3D printing stimulating new discussions in the IP sphere.
1. Dr. Akira Fujii, Japanese Patent Attorney, Partner, Sonoda & Kobayashi Intellectual Property Law – Tokyo;
2. Mr. Yoshitaka Togashi, Japanese Patent Attorney, Partner, Sonoda & Kobayashi Intellectual Property Law – Tokyo;
3. Mr. Kazuyuki Semba, Japanese Patent Attorney, Sonoda & Kobayashi Intellectual Property Law – Tokyo;
4. Dr. Robert Börner, German and European Patent Attorney, Director, Murgitroyd – Munich Office;
5. Dr. Benjamin Grau, German and European Patent Attorney, Murgitroyd – Munich Office.
1. "Introduction to Internet of Things (IoT) and 3D Prointing - Present Status of Patent Applications in Japan" Mr. Yoshitaka Togashi, Sonoda & Kobayashi Intellectual Property Law
2. "Present State of IoT and 3D Printing in Europe and Status of Patent Applications in the Field" Dr. Robert Börner and Dr. Benjamin Grau, Murgitroyd – Munich Office. *This document has been revised.
3. "IoT and Standard Essential Patent" Mr. Kazuyuki Semba, Sonoda & Kobayashi Intellectual Property Law
4. "New IP Challenges of IoT and Their Impact on Business in Europe" Dr. Robert Börner, Murgitroyd – Munich Office
5. "New Issues in IP: 3D Printing and Impacts on Business in Japan" Dr. Akira Fujii, Sonoda & Kobayashi Intellectual Property Law
6. "New IP Challenges of 3D Printing and Their Impacts on Business in Europe" Dr. Benjamin Grau, Murgitroyd – Munich Office