3D scanning services and intellectual property

work with a 3d scanning company you can trust.

Intellectual property – It is a concern of many of our customers; protecting it, who owns the results. What is intellectual property? According to the dictionary, it is “a work or invention that is the result of creativity, such as a manuscript or a design, to which one has rights and for which one may apply for a patent, copyright, trademark, etc.”.

By its nature, 3D scanning services often involve working on projects that are under wraps, held closely to the vest of the inventor, owner, creator, artist etc. Many times projects are still in the idea state, and naturally customers are concerned that other people will steal their idea and run with it. In order to reassure these customers we typically will sign an NDA, or Non-Disclosure Agreement.  When performing 3D scanning services, the customer information will need to be seen by members of our team in order to complete the work. That is why it is important to work with a company with a long history of and a trustworthy team. As one can tell from reading our Google reviews, customers are happy with the 3d scanning services that they have received. If we were in the habit of breaching our customers’ trust, we would not have gotten very far in this industry.

Often, 3D scanning service customers are unclear on who owns the data. This is for good reason. Clearly, a 3d scanning service customer wouldn’t want their data to be given to anyone else. But from the perspective of the 3d scanning company, working with point cloud data that is owned by someone else is equally problematic. Similar to how a photographer owns the photos, but grants license to use the photos to customers, a 3D scanning company must maintain ownership of the 3D point cloud data while it is being processed. However, the 3d scanning company agrees to provide the data to no one other than the customer. There may also be an agreement not to use imagery for marketing purposes, and to destroy the data after a certain period. But this only applies to the raw point cloud data, which closely parallels the nature of a photograph. When it comes to intellectual property of the customer such as project plans, building designs and product designs, these are often provided at the start when 3D scanning services are rendered. It is important that the 3D scanning service company take great care in protecting their confidentiality.

Another issue can arise when performing 3D scanning services on parts. What happens when a customer wants to scan a competitor’s part that is someone else’s design? The scan is a “digital twin” of that part; does it fall under the intellectual property of the designer? While this one may be a gray area, it is generally understood that it is not a violation of intellectual property to merely reproduce the part in digital form. What would be a problem is when someone starts to reproduce the part and sell it for money. This damages the original designer/owner of the part if it is protected by patent.

We understand what is at stake when you trust us with your confidential information, and take the data security of our customers very seriously when performing 3D scanning services

Keep reading: more articles about 3D scanning

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