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3D Printing of Human Tissue To Spark Ethics Debate 234

Posted by Soulskill
from the your-liver-is-made-to-order dept.
Lucas123 writes "In a report released today, Gartner predicts that the time is drawing near when 3D-bioprinted human organs will be readily available, an advance almost certain to spark a complex debate involving a variety of political, moral and financial interests. For example, some researchers are using cells from human and non-human organs to create stronger tissue, said Pete Basiliere, a Gartner research director. 'In this example, there was human amniotic fluid, canine smooth muscle cells, and bovine cells all being used. Some may feel those constructs are of concern,' he said. While regulations in the U.S. and Europe will mean human trials of 3D printed organs will likely take up to a decade, nations with less stringent standards will plow ahead with the technology. For example, last August, the Hangzhou Dianzi University in China announced it had invented the biomaterial 3D printer Regenovo, which printed a small working kidney that lasted four months. Apart from printing tissue, 3D printing may also threaten intellectual property rights. 'IP will be ignored and it will be impossible or impractical to enforce. Everything will change when you can make anything.' said John Hornick, an IP attorney."
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3D Printing of Human Tissue To Spark Ethics Debate

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  • Re:IP freely (Score:4, Informative)

    by suutar (1860506) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @06:04PM (#46104347)
    To clarify: the list of ingredients is not copyrightable. The instructions on what to do with the ingredients may be.
  • Re:IP freely (Score:5, Informative)

    by suutar (1860506) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @06:25PM (#46104565)
    Sadly no. Making patented gadgets for your own use is an infringement (both for making and for using). You're unlikely to get caught by the patent holder, but it's still not legal. Here's [gpo.gov] the relevant section of US code.
  • Re:IP freely (Score:2, Informative)

    by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @07:05PM (#46104965)

    "(probably) true, but that's because they're trademarked and/or copyrighted, not patented."

    No, it isn't. The law is the same. If you have patented a device, I can copy it for my own use and it's perfectly legal. And always has been.

    A patent allows you the limited-time right to commercially manufacture and distribute your invention. There is no law (in the U.S.) against copying it for personal use.

  • Re:IP freely (Score:4, Informative)

    by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @07:21PM (#46105121)

    "Sadly no. Making patented gadgets for your own use is an infringement (both for making and for using)."

    I stand corrected. I looked it up myself and you are correct.

    There are however two recognized exceptions from case law. One (I don't have the citation handy) was for "determining the veracity and preciseness of the specification", and the other, from Roche Products v. Bolar Pharmaceutical, 733 F2d 858, 221 USPQ 937 (Fed. Cir. 1984). That one says there is an exception

    "for the sole purpose of gratifying a philosophical taste, or curiosity, or for mere amusement"

    So yes, if it is just to gratify your philosophical taste or curiosity, or for fun, it is still legal. Otherwise no, unless you are trying to compare the spec.

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