This Note examines how patent law inhibits accessibility to prosthetics, and how a fair use defense for patent infringement will make them more widely accessible. Part I will explain the basics of patent law, including its history, scope, and process of infringement. Part II will discuss the fair use defense against copyright and trademark infringement and explain why this defense should also be enforceable for patent infringement. Part III will provide an overview of 3D printing. Part IV will focus on 3D prosthetics, specifically on the story of two young prosthetic recipients, Griffin Matuszek and Evie Lambert. Finally, Part V will examine the current state of accessibility to prosthetics, common barriers to accessibility, and resources for low-income patients.
Roxanneh Mousavi, Creativity for the Common Good: The Case for Fair Use of Prosthetics Patents, 45 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 1265 (2023).