How to Copy a plastic part

Unlegal ?What are you able to do to prevent it from occurring?

The most frequently asked questions are: “Can we make our replacement parts ourselves or do we have to purchase parts from the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM).”

This could refer to a polycarbonate injection molded part, or any other plastic injected items . It could be expensive, and there could be significant differences in price between locally manufactured parts as well as OEM parts. There are also concerns regarding the quality and availability.

Although the answer could be “yes” however, there are a myriad of issues to be taken into consideration.

Intellectual property can be defined as trademarks, registered designs, and copyright.

Contractual obligations

To the address:

Here’s a list of issues that need to be taken care of when designing replacement parts.

injection molding


If you’re thinking about copying a plastic part, you might want to consider the patents that protect it.

Does the component have patent protection? It’s generally not an infraction of a patent to make and sell parts for a replacement of a machine, even if the machine is covered by patents. The part could be protected by patents. Patent rights can be mentioned in the product’s documentation. Patent searches can be conducted if there is doubt.

In general, it is not considered an infringement of a patent to make and sell parts for a machine if the machine is already covered by patents. But what if the machine is protected by patents? In that case, it’s possible that the part could be protected by patents as well.

The first thing you should do is read the documentation for the product. If there are patent rights mentioned in there, then check whether or not those rights have expired or been revoked. If they have expired or been revoked, then you may be able to copy their design freely—but keep in mind that not all patents expire at once! Some will expire after 20 years while others may last up to 30 years.

If you think there’s any chance your design has been patented without being mentioned in any documentation, then you should conduct a patent search on it before proceeding with production of any kind.

Designs for Registers

Are there registered designs for the component? In certain instances manufacturers can request protection for their designs. This is particularly true when the shape and function is determined by the location of the machine. In case of doubt, a registered search is a possibility. The defense of a component that was replaced and repaired is also a possibility.

Confidential information

Are any confidential information being used in connection with the manufacturing of the component? Details on the materials used and details on tolerances in the drawings provided by OEM can be classified as confidential. Information that is retrieved in public sources or analyzed through an analysis of the component is typically not considered to be confidential. To prevent any accusations of misuse, reverse engineering could be required in certain situations.

Contractual clauses

Are there agreements that restricts or requires the production of spare parts for the proprietor of the machine or equipment? It is possible to review all applicable clauses. There could be questions concerning enforceability if the they are unlawful or infringe on competition.

For engineering drawings, copyright is usually in force. It could be an infraction of copyright for anyone to create a three-dimensional replica of the drawing (i.e. making a part in accordance with the drawing. Making a part in accordance with the drawing. Copyright Act provides that it is not unlawful to copyright a portion of an engineering design when the copyright owner or licensee created the piece and then sold it commercially. In these cases reverse engineering drawings will not be considered to be copyright. This is a field of law that is difficult to navigate and there are some exceptions. The law says that copyright doesn’t protect the production of machine parts for mass production.


A spare part manufactured by an individual not the trade mark proprietor (or licensee) cannot be offered for sale or distributed with the trade mark’s name. A seller can’t, for instance claim that the part is an official Toyota part. It is acceptable, however to state “This item is specifically intended for use with the Toyota automobile”.

Misleading or deceptive conduct

A supplier is not able to deceive or deceive a client or public through statements or by omitting information that leads to their customers or anyone else being misled in any way (or the potential of being fooled). It’s misleading and deceiving to state that the parts are OEM parts or are accepted by an OEM. If a consumer or the public are deceived, it could be deceitful or misleading to not disclose information or remain in silence. It is crucial to think about the rights of an OEM prior to deciding whether to purchase parts from local suppliers instead of an OEM. It’s possible, provided you meet the appropriate conditions.

OEM Actions

It is possible to look at the issue from the perspective of an OEM. But there are additional questions: “Can I do anything to stop my customers from making themselves spare parts?” My lawyer has this solution:

If you are required, you may request patents, registrations of designs and trade marks.

By implementing agreements and appropriate methods and protocols, you are able to secure your private information.

You may add contractual restrictions, but you must be aware of the law regarding anti-competitive conduct or unlawful restrictions on trade.

It is interesting that when it is copied parts that are being replaced copyright laws is only of aid to the OEM with the exception of cases where direct copying of drawings is permitted. In certain cases it is not possible to infringe when the copies were made by reverse engineering.

What could you do to assist?

It’s all about knowing the legal framework to ensure that both OEM and the customer can make informed choices about what is legal and not. There is a possibility of grave consequences if you do it wrong.