AZoNANO PROVIDES SOME NANOTECH PATENT BASICS: In a series of articles, AZoNano.com discusses the basics of nanotechnology and patenting issues. As most of you know, nanotechnology refers to the manipulation of matter at the scale of atoms and molecules, where size is measured in billionths of meters (one nanometer = one-billionth of a meter). Nanotech isn’t a single technology - but a range of technologies converging at the nanoscale - including biotechnology, genomics, neurosciences, robotics and information technologies.
Nanotechnology is undergoing a patent boom similar to that experienced by software, but on a much smaller scale. Undoubtedly, patents will play a major role in deciding who will capture nanotech’s trillion dollar market, and will determine who will have access to nanoscale technologies at what price. At stake is control over innovations that span multiple industry sectors - from electronics, energy, mining and defense to new materials, pharmaceuticals and agriculture. As the ‘Wall Street Journal’ put it, “companies that hold pioneering patents could potentially put up tolls on entire industries.”
And just like software, nanotechnology has proven itself to be susceptible to overly broad patents. In this report from the ETC Group, a conclusion was made that "breathtakingly broad" nanotech patents have been granted that cut across multiple industry sectors and include sweeping claims on entire areas of the Periodic Table. Although industry analysts assert that nanotechnology is in its infancy, "patent thickets" on fundamental nano-scale materials, tools and processes are already creating thorny barriers for would-be innovators. Claims are often broad, overlapping and conflicting - a scenario ripe for massive patent litigation battles in the future.
Patenting Nanotechnology - Introduction
Patenting Nanotechnology - What is Class 977 and How Does It Affect Nanotechnology Development?
Patenting Nanotechnology - Overview of the Role of Public Sector Universities in Nanotech IP Rights