3D Printing – An Analysis of Liabilities and Potential Benefits Within the Indian Legal Framework
Shardha Rajam & Adya Jha*
Volume 11 Issue 3 (2018)
The present has begun to be revolutionised with the advent of 3D printing – technologically as well as socially. We are steadily gravitating away from the two-dimensional world of printing to a world of marvel, where 3D printed drugs, food products, hardware and even biological organs are no longer things of mere imagination. However, great innovation is accompanied by equally great regulatory challenges and debate. Printing with biological and non-biological materials results in a spectrum of policy challenges when compared to traditional ink-jet printing. For instance, the ambit of the existing legal framework governing organs and tissues in India is restricted to transplantation from another human being. Further, the legal framework on medical devices and drugs do not contemplate the possibility of additively manufactured devices and drugs. Additionally, 3D printing also throws the conventional province of patent law into disarray since it does not provide any clarity on whether the infringement will be assessed based on the CAD file or the 3D printed product. Likewise, the ease with which these products are manufactured turns the chain of product manufacturing into a complex web consisting of several potential defaulters. This paper strives to highlight some of these regulatory concerns and offers a framework wherein challenges will be translated into solutions, thus, balancing regulation with innovation.