Adjacent Property Rights? Post-Sale Confusion and Property Rights in 3D Printing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientific


This paper argues that in the light of various infringement
activities of trademark rights, perpetuated by three-dimensional
(3D) printing, there is the need for flexibility in enforcing
intellectual property laws. Further, this paper proposes the need
for a new category of property rights. This new category of
property rights, described as adjacent property rights, which
applies to 3D printed goods that give rise to post-sale confusion
under trademark legal doctrine. The discussion is framed against
the property rights doctrine and develops the necessity of the
adjacent property rights theory from a utilitarian perspective.
This discussion is in light of the fact that 3D printing forms part
of the creative and innovative process of society. In this regard, the
strict enforcement of intellectual property rules to combat the
expansion of 3D printing for commercial purposes only weakens
consumer welfare and lessens the economic development of society
that relies on innovation for development.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAlbany law journal of science & technology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)36-73
Number of pages38
Publication statusPublished - 2020
MoE publication typeB1 Journal article

Fields of Science

  • 513 Law
  • 3D printing
  • post-sale confusion
  • property rights
  • adjacent property rights

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