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3D Printing Patent Trends Show Growth in Surprising Areas

The EPO published a study showing that 3D printing is a white hot area in patent filings. The study found that “between 2013 and 2020, international patent families in 3D printing technologies grew at an average annual rate of 26.3% – nearly eight times faster than for all technology fields combined in the same period (3.3%).” Surprisingly, this growth isn't concentrated in only a few companies. Rather, as 3D printing has become more ubiquitous, filings have also become more diverse.

The 3D printing market has also become more diverse. While previously the main players were established engineering companies, there are now also many start-ups and specialised additive manufacturing companies emerging. In total more than 50 000 international patent families (IPFs) for 3D printing technologies have been filed worldwide since 2001. An IPF represents a significant invention for which patent applications have been filed for two or more countries worldwide.


patent, ip, intellectual property, uspto, manufacturing