Additive Manufacturing Patent Reports



Table of Contents

Patents are a significant issue for the additive manufacturing sector.  While patent expiration has played a strong role in the overall growth of the industry many 3D printers (from the filament, to the printer heads, software, and circuitry) and 3DP materials are covered by or subject to considerable intellectual property (IP) protection.

And the filing trend continues unabated. According to the US Patent Office, the number of patent applications related to 3D printing has continued to rise each year and there have been over 13,000 AM-related patent applications filed in the past decade.

Companies who fail to do a proper accounting of the IP landscape can find their commercial endeavors stymied and their businesses subject to potentially expensive litigation and payouts. Or, by not surveying the environment they could be missing out on key trends or opportunities.

SmarTech’s Additive Manufacturing Patent Advisory Service provides information and crucial support that 3DP firms needing to make patent-related decisions.  It aids our clients in taking advantage of opportunities and avoiding the pitfalls that this avalanche of new patents is creating. SmarTech believes that understanding of AM patent landscapes can build competitive advantage and can enable firms to secure the appropriate IP going forward.

Areas in which this Service Can Help

Depending on the specific needs of our clients, some of the 3D patent-related areas with which SmarTech can help include:

  • Current filing trends for patents including patent applications, publications, abandonments and expirations.  Coverage is both worldwide and for individual countries
  • Identification of key patents based on citations and the role in the evolution of the AM sector.  We can also plot the current and past development of 3D printers and related materials and processes based on patent developments
  • Identification of key patent holders and individual inventors.  We can also provide detailed profiles of these pioneering firms and individuals.  SmarTech also offers analysis of the AM-related patents of leading universities and research institutes
  • Analysis of what the patent portfolios for AM firms show about their future product and engineering strategies
  • Key areas of opportunity for new patent applications and acquisitions in areas of client interest.  Also, areas of patent saturation.  Also, patent areas, where we see potential for licensing


This service brings together SmarTech’s wealth of understanding of all aspects of the 3DP/AM business with a first-rate patent search capability.  The SmartTech Additive Manufacturing Patent Advisory Service is a customized offering, so it can focus on the particular patent-related needs of our clients.  This SmarTech service is supported by both patent experts and our SmarTech industry analysts.  It is aimed at IP professionals and others in the 3DP industry. It is also aimed at patent attorneys, product managers, engineers, investment banks and others who need a comprehensive overview of patents related to 3D printing.