Chris Higgins Weighs in on Whether 3D Printing CAD Files are Protected Speech

Bloomberg Law | January.04.2018

Chris Higgins, co-leader of the 3D Printing team at Orrick, recently spoke with Bloomberg Law regarding a case involving the online sharing of 3D printed gun files. The U.S. Supreme Court is deciding whether or not to hear the case, which concerns whether digital blueprints are entitled to free-speech protection.

Chris noted that CAD files command a computer to perform some action and are therefore "inherently functional.” He added that CAD files don't contain expressive elements such as those found in video games, which the Supreme Court has held are protected speech.