Copy protection on 3-D printing (a future risk)
"The 3-D printing process makes it easier for inventors to enter the market, but it makes things easier for copycats as well.
What will the implications be for a German mechanical engineering company when its clients in Mexico or Vietnam no longer need to import replacement parts from Stuttgart, but instead can acquire the digital 3-D blueprint and print their own parts? What will the implications be when a computer file is all that’s needed to copy WMF silverware or Gucci sunglasses? One American company has already patented a copy protection mechanism for 3-D printing, and the mass market is likely to follow."