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As 3D printers break through, EU expands copyright to furniture and extends term by a century.

Stashed in: Intellectual Property, Awesome

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Moving furniture design from a design patent to copyright law means that people can and will indeed be prosecuted for manufacturing their own furniture using their own tools. 

There’s an important differencehere in EU law versus US patent law:

In most European countries, the exclusive exploitation rights granted by a patent are restricted to commercial exploitation. A private person who builds the patented invention in his own home for his own personal goals cannot infringe on a patent. […] United States law is more strict. It forbids anyone from making, using or selling the invention, even when the use is strictly personal.

So in the United States, a change from patent protection to copyright protection would not matter much when it comes to maker culture and 3D printing. In the European Union, which is where this is taking place, it matters a whole lot.

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