Growth in AM Patent Applications

By Ray Huff and Terry Wohlers 

Note: John Hornick of Finnegan collected and assembled the data for the chart.

A key indicator of innovation in any industry is patent applications. From 1996 to 2013, the additive manufacturing (AM) and 3D printing industry experienced a moderate but steady increase in published patent applications. From 2013 to 2016, the number of applications grew by a surprising 7.7 times, as shown in the following chart (taken from Wohlers Report 2017). The green line shows published patent applications, while the blue line shows issued patents.

 

 

In recent years, several AM foundation patents have expired. As these AM technologies mature, and new players enter the market, companies are pressured to differentiate their offerings. Filing a patent can be time-consuming and costly, and it can take years for a patent to be granted. This makes the number of patent applications a good way to take the “pulse” of a particular industry. The AM industry has a strong one.

Access

Wohlers Report 2022

Technical, market, and strategic advice on Additive Manufacturing 3D Printing Rapid Product Development

Related Press & News

December 16, 2022

Formnext 2022

By Ray Huff Walking into any one of the four halls at Formnext 2022, it was obvious the AM industry…

Read More
March 6, 2022

Newest Member of Wohlers Associates

by Shane Collins The first time I saw additive manufacturing (AM) was in late 1999 at 3D Systems in the…

Read More
February 20, 2022

3D Printing at the Winter Olympics

by Noah Mostow This weekend marks the end of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China. I am always impressed…

Read More

Learn more about ASTM and AM CoE

ASTM unites with the Wohlers brand to build on its market influence and access to top AM industry decision-makers worldwide.

  • Establish standards, certification, and qualification for repeatable, consistent parts and processes
  • Prevent gaps and duplication of work in a dynamic, fast-paced technology space
  • Identify challenges that can be solved with technological improvement

Research and Development

Under the leadership of the R&D team, the AM CoE partners plan and conduct coordinated R&D projects, prioritized annually and targeted to expedite...

Learn More

Education and Workforce Development

Provide a comprehensive program that educates and trains the additive manufacturing workforce at all levels, while continually incorporating new advances...

Learn More