Natalia Lukaszewicz on the Maker Movement and Patent Law

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"Beyond any doubt, Makers deserve special attention in the legal field for a number of reasons:

1) their technological contributions,

2) popularisation of democratic ideas: participation, trust and responsibility,

3) for making a part of this world better.

(The patent system shared once the same principles … before it has changed into a money-making machine.)

The reference point for the research is collective making: when an idea leaves the safe private harbour (adverbial basements and garages) and enters open waters of knowledge dissemination and commercialisation, where a patent infringement may easily occur. Against this background I analyse the scope of patent windows (statutory provisions and doctrines) stipulated in four legal systems: Germany, the UK, the USA, and Japan. I present the main construction lines and apply them to the Maker environment. There are measures, e.g. private and non-commercial use or experimental use, that work in “making” but under certain reservations.

The talk serves advising and increasing the awareness of the scope of the permissible uses on patented solutions."