2017/2007(INI)

Three-dimensional printing, a challenge in the fields of intellectual property rights and civil liability

Procedure completed

2017/2007(INI) Three-dimensional printing, a challenge in the fields of intellectual property rights and civil liability
RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Opinion IMCO
Lead JURI BERGERON Joëlle (EFD) DE GRANDES PASCUAL Luis (EPP), DELVAUX Mady (S&D), USPASKICH Viktor (ALDE), MAŠTÁLKA Jiří (GUE/NGL), ANDERSSON Max (Verts/ALE), BOUTONNET Marie-Christine (ENF)
Lead committee dossier: JURI/8/09065
Legal Basis Rules of Procedure EP 52
Subjects
Links

Activites

  • 2018/07/03 Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
    • T8-0274/2018 summary
  • 2018/07/02 Debate in Parliament
  • 2018/06/26 Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
    • A8-0223/2018 summary
  • 2018/06/20 Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
  • 2017/02/16 Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading

Documents

Votes

A8-0223/2018 - Joëlle Bergeron - vote unique

2018/07/03
Position Total ALDE ECR EFDD ENF GUE/NGL NI PPE S&D Verts/ALE correctional
For 631 64 61 17 27 35 13 197 173 44 0
Against 27 0 0 15 6 0 6 0 0 0 0
Abstain 19 0 5 6 0 7 1 0 0 0 0
AmendmentsDossier
150 2017/2007(INI) Three-dimensional printing, a challenge in the fields of intellectual property rights and civil liability
2018/03/01 JURI 140 amendments...
source: PE-619.044
2018/04/18 JURI 10 amendments...
source: PE-620.922

History

(these mark the time of scraping, not the official date of the change)

2018-09-12
activities/1 added
date
2018-06-20
body
EP
type
Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
committees
activities/2 added
date
2018-06-26
docs
  • url
    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A8-2018-0223&language=EN
    text
    • The Committee on Legal Affairs adopted the own-initiative report by Joëlle BERGERON (EFDD, FR) on three-dimensional printing, a challenge in the fields of intellectual property rights and civil liability.

      Members noted that 3D printing is viewed as one of the most prominent technologies, with regard to which Europe can play a leading role. The EU has made 3D printing one of its priority areas of technology. The Commission referred to it, in its recent reflection paper on harnessing globalisation), as one of the main factors in bringing about industrial transformation.

      The committee recalled that most of today’s high-tech industries use this technology, and expectations are high in many areas, e.g. the medical (ranging from regenerative medicine to the manufacture of prosthetics), aeronautics, household electrical appliance, building, architecture, mechanical engineering, and leisure and design sectors.

      It pointed out that 3D-printing technology might raise some specific legal and ethical concerns regarding all areas of intellectual property law, such as copyright, patents, designs, three-dimensional trademarks and even geographical indications, and civil liability. Members stressed that, to anticipate problems relating to civil liability or intellectual property infringement that 3D printing might cause in the future, the EU might have to adopt new legislation and tailor existing laws to the specific case of 3D technology. In any case, the legislative response should avoid duplicating existing rules and should take into account projects that are already under way, in particular the legislation on copyright currently applicable to 2D printing.  

      Intellectual property: the report noted that legal experts are of the view that 3D printing has not fundamentally altered intellectual property rights, but files created may be considered a work. If that is the case, the work must be protected as such. In the short and medium term, and with a view to tackling counterfeiting, the main challenge will be to involve professional copyright intermediaries more closely.

      Civil liability: the report pointed out in general, civil liability is a matter that is not harmonised and is subject to national legislation.  At EU level, Directive 85/374/EEC on liability for defective products covers all contracts. Members felt that it should be noted that it is progress in 3D printing among other things that has led the Commission to undertake a public consultation with the aim of assessing whether this Directive is fit for purpose in relation to new technological developments.

      General liability rules also cover the liability of intermediary service providers. Members considered that a specific liability regime should be envisaged for damage caused by an object created using 3D-printing technology, as the number of stakeholders involved and the complex process used to create the finished product often make it difficult for the victim to identify the person responsible. The liability could lie with the creator or vendor of the 3D file, or the producer of the 3D printer, the producer of the software used in the 3D printer, the supplier of the materials used or even the person who created the object, depending on the cause of the defect discovered.

      Members called on the Commission to:

      • carefully consider the civil liability issues related to 3D-printing technology, including when it assesses the functioning of Council Directive 85/374/EEC on liability for defective products;
      • explore the possibility of setting up a civil liability regime for damages not covered by Directive 85/374/EEC;
      • clearly define the various responsibilities by identifying the parties involved in making a 3D object: software designer and supplier, 3D printer manufacturer, raw materials supplier, object printer and all others involved in making the object.

      Lastly, with respect to any new legislation, Members stated that innovation should be promoted and accompanied by law, without the law acting as a brake or a constraint.

    type
    Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
    title
    A8-0223/2018
body
EP
type
Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
activities/3 added
date
2018-07-02
docs
  • url
    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20180702&type=CRE
    type
    Debate in Parliament
    title
    Debate in Parliament
body
EP
type
Debate in Parliament
activities/4 added
date
2018-07-03
docs
  • url
    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P8-TA-2018-0274
    text
    • The European Parliament adopted, by 631 votes to 27, with 19 abstentions, a resolution on three-dimensional printing, a challenge in the fields of intellectual property rights and civil liability.

      Towards new legal standards: Members recalled that 3D printing is considered one of the most advanced technologies where Europe can play a leading role. The Commission has identified 3D printing as a priority area for action with strong economic potential, in particular for innovative small businesses. It recognized the benefits of 3D printing by sponsoring 21 projects based on this technology between 2014 and 2016 through the Horizon 2020 initiative.

      Most of today’s high-tech industries use this technology, and expectations are high in many areas, e.g. the medical (ranging from regenerative medicine to the manufacture of prosthetics), aeronautics, household electrical appliance, building, architecture, mechanical engineering, and leisure and design sectors.

      However, 3D-printing technology might raise some specific legal and ethical concerns regarding all areas of intellectual property law, such as copyright, patents, designs, three-dimensional trademarks and even geographical indications, and civil liability.

      In order to anticipate problems relating to civil liability or intellectual property infringement that 3D printing might cause in the future, the EU might have to adopt new legislation and tailor existing laws to the specific case of 3D technology. In any case, the legislative response should avoid duplicating existing rules and should take into account projects that are already under way, in particular the legislation on copyright currently applicable to 2D printing. 

      Intellectual property: Parliament noted that legal experts are of the view that 3D printing has not fundamentally altered intellectual property rights, but files created may be considered a work. If that is the case, the work must be protected as such. In the short and medium term, and with a view to tackling counterfeiting, the main challenge will be to involve professional copyright intermediaries more closely.

      Civil liability: Members pointed out that new technologies are able to scan objects or people and generate digital files which can subsequently be printed in 3D which can affect image rights and the right to privacy. 3D-printing technology may also raise security and especially cyber-security concerns, particularly with regard to the manufacturing of weapons, explosives and drugs and any other hazardous objects. Particular care should be taken with regard to production of that kind.

      At EU level, Directive 85/374/EEC on liability for defective products covers all contracts. Members noted that it is progress in 3D printing among other things that has led the Commission to undertake a public consultation with the aim of assessing whether this directive is fit for purpose in relation to new technological developments. In addition, general liability rules also cover the liability of intermediary service providers.

      Members considered that a specific liability regime should be envisaged for damage caused by an object created using 3D-printing technology, as the number of stakeholders involved and the complex process used to create the finished product often make it difficult for the victim to identify the person responsible.

      The Commission is called on to:

      • carefully consider the civil liability issues related to 3D-printing technology, including when it assesses the functioning of Council Directive 85/374/EEC on liability for defective products;
      • explore the possibility of setting up a civil liability regime for damages not covered by Directive 85/374/EEC;
      • clearly define the various responsibilities by identifying the parties involved in making a 3D object: software designer and supplier, 3D printer manufacturer, raw materials supplier, object printer and all others involved in making the object.

      Lastly, with respect to any new legislation, Members stated that innovation should be promoted and accompanied by law, without the law acting as a brake or a constraint.

    type
    Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
    title
    T8-0274/2018
body
EP
type
Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
procedure/Modified legal basis added Rules of Procedure EP 150
procedure/legal_basis/0 changed
Old
Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 052
New
Rules of Procedure EP 52
procedure/stage_reached changed
Old
Awaiting committee decision
New
Procedure completed
2017-11-09
2017-09-26
2017-09-07
2017-05-12
2017-04-20
2017-02-28

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