The pace of technology continues to move faster and faster. A year ago, wearable devices, such as fitness monitors and smart watches, were something only a few hard core technophiles had. Now, they are everywhere. Similarly, 3-D printers, that can create three-dimensional items seeming from thin air, were, until a year ago, restricted to high-end manufacturing, but can now be purchased for home use, and are available for rent at many public libraries.
Changes in the law associated with these technologies is not moving as fast, but it is changing nonetheless. According to an article in Forbes, a defense lawyer in a personal injury matter in Calgary has said he will use the data from a Fitbit fitness monitoring device to show evidence of injury to his client.
3-D printing and copyright infringement made headlines recently, when the plans to produce a doll of Katie Perry’s now famous Superbowl Left Shark became available on Shapeways, a website where 3-D printer plans can be purchased. Ms. Perry’s lawyers immediately sent a cease and desist letter to Shapeways. Shapeways cancelled orders and refunded customers. However, the artist who created the plans intends to fight.
New and developing technologies will continue to offer lawyers novel ways to present their cases. It remains to be seen how these new technologies will be treated by courts and tribunals. These and other related issues will make for some interesting debates.