Use it and Lose it? Views from the U.S. and Canada on 3D Shapes, Usefulness and IP Protection

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Held on March 29, 2018

The recent U.S. Supreme Court case Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands brought a measure of certainty, though perhaps not simplicity, to U.S. copyright law's treatment of useful articles. Meanwhile, Canadian jurisprudence, thus far, has taken a less rigourous approach to determining whether a physical object's usefulness is a bar to copyright. This webinar will consider the U.S. separability doctrine and Canadian analysis of utilitarian function. We will also discuss intersections with trademark law, and some of the real-world implications of these laws in the 3D printing and custom manufacturing space. 


Paul Banwatt Gilbert's LLP
Michael Weinberg IP & General Counsel, Shapeways


Maya Bielinski Gilbert's LLP

Continuing Professional Development

This program is eligible for up to 1 Substantive Hour.

If you wish to receive CPD accreditation for this webinar please write to when you have completed viewing the recording. Please provide the CPD code as provided in the recording.


1 hr

Law Society of Ontario

Barreau du Québec

Law Society of British Columbia

Law Society of Saskatchewan

upon request

Law Society of Manitoba

Law Society of Alberta

New York CLE Board