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Advanced Manufacturing

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses. - Henry Ford

Technological innovations in manufacturing are the fuel injector of the American economy. 3D printing, prototyping, additive manufacturing, biologics and semiconductors are only a glimpse of the horizon. As these industries grow, dynamic manufacturing enterprises on the leading edge will need lawyers who understand the business at its scientific core, are responsive, savvy, and help them solve their legal challenges with practical, customized solutions.

That’s us. McCarter & English presents an interdisciplinary team dedicated to (and possibly obsessed with) advanced manufacturing. These new technologies present two main legal challenges for companies in the field: intellectual property and product liability.

Intellectual property. Protecting your intellectual property just got a lot harder. How do you protect your patents and brands when someone else (maybe a great many someone else's) are manufacturing and selling the products? How do manufacturers avoid running afoul of others’ IP or getting caught in the middle? While some aspects of the traditional approach to IP protection may be outdated, the basic tenets will endure. Companies using these technologies will have the advantage of our lawyers’ combination of hard and soft IP skills and experience to protect their portfolios and steer clear of trouble.

Product liability. This disruption in manufacturing generates a concomitant disruption in the product liability risks our industry faces. Who or what is a manufacturer? How does the manufacturer control risk? How will new technologies be regulated? Are there new participants that can share the risks?

None of these issues should make companies hesitate to pursue these technologies.  They are simply issues to be analyzed and problems to be solved before joining the revolution.  Delaying or ignoring this quantum shift in the industry could be a huge mistake, but companies joining it need the right legal team. We can help you analyze the market, the product lines, the protections and the transformative application potential of your products, and help you protect yourself as you bring your business into this brave new world.