The growing uses for 3D printing is fostering new opportunities for innovation and business development, but is also ushering in challenges for attorneys as this technology tests longstanding norms surrounding Intellectual Property.
“When I started to focus on this area, I realized there weren't a lot of people servicing this industry,” said attorney Kevin Bell, partner at Arnall Golden Gregory LLP. “I think I started working in the supplement space in about 1995 and then around 2000 I was doing a lot of litigation in the area of some of the original founding creatine patents on creatine loading and other things.”
Bell explained that the supplement industry, from an intellectual property standpoint, sits in a very unique spot because of regulatory constraints. In addition, there has been a lot of innovation in the past 5 to 7 years.
“I'm shocked to see the kind of innovations going on,” said Bell. “I think the creativity side of it is endless. Companies are always interested in hearing new ideas. Rarely do they hear them from an attorney.”
While patents can provide a good lead time over competitors or give a company peace of mind, Bell said it only pays if you plan to put the patents to good use.
“I tell a lot of people, if you're not going to do something with your patents, buy art—it’s cheaper. Patents are very expensive.”
To hear more from Bell, including some of his innovative ideas for supplement brands, listen to the NutraCast.
NutraCast is a podcast that focuses on insights from inside the nutrition industry. It is a production by NutraIngredients-USA. Music by Kevin Macleod.