Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Nanotech patent battles are brewing; some are worth fighting

Abstract:
Comprehensive review of 2,738 nanotech patents shows which markets to focus on and which to abandon

Nanotech patent battles are brewing; some are worth fighting

Lux Research Foley & Lardner

San Francisco, CA | Posted on July 24, 2006

As companies, universities, and government entities explore the applications of nanomaterials, they have gone to the patent office in droves - yielding a continued increase in nanotech patents, which totaled 4,996 U.S. issued patents through 2005.

With so many patents, legal saber-rattling over rights to intellectual property has already begun. Some contentious fields are worth the time and expense of legal defense while others don't present enough market opportunity to justify the outlay, according to a new report from Lux Research in collaboration with Foley & Lardner LLP titled "Nanotech IP Battles Worth Fighting."

The report finds that the rate of new nanotech patent issuances stalled at 4 percent in 2005 after exceeding 20 percent in the last few years. At the same time, however, the number of public patent applications for nanotechnology continued to increase, growing by 52 percent to 2,714 outstanding nanotech patent applications.

What do these figures indicate? A bottleneck at the USPTO is limiting inventor's ability to secure intellectual property rights. Crowded patent domains with overlapping claims have pushed the pendency rate - the time from the submission of a nanotech patent application to the issuance of a patent - to nearly four years on average, up from two and half years in 1993.

"With the number of pending public nanotech patent applications in 2005 outnumbering issued nanotech patents by more than three to one, there is a wave of innovation that the USPTO has yet to process," said Lux Research analyst Vahé Mamikunian. "When the dust settles from this influx of inventions, many patent holders will be wondering just how valuable their innovations are in densely crowded and overlapping areas."

"The flip side of this trend is that the increasing numbers of patents in key areas of nanotech is opening the door to new licensing opportunities, as patent owners seek to consolidate groups of patents needed to access those key areas," says Stephen Maebius, partner in the Intellectual Property Department of law firm Foley & Lardner LLP.

Lux Research and Foley & Lardner LLP reviewed all issued U.S. patents relating to eight classes of nanomaterials: 1) carbon nanotubes, 2) metal nanoparticles, 3) aerogels, 4) ceramic nanoparticles, 5) dendrimers, 6) quantum dots, 7) fullerenes, and 8) nanowires. The analysis reviewed 2,738 patents in total, covering 52,148 relevant claims that cross seven application categories.

Through an exhaustive manual review, each claim in each patent was categorized by type and application to assess the "white space" and "vulnerability" for nanomaterial patents in each application category. The results of this assessment were then mapped against the market potential for each application category to identify which applications are worth fighting over and which represent a low opportunity for payoff. Among the report's highlights:

  • Carbon nanotube and quantum dot applications in electronics, where many crowded and vulnerable patents indicate a high likelihood of legal wrangling, are battles worth fighting. The large addressable markets relevant to these nanomaterials justify the cost of navigating the unfavorable patent outlook.
  • In healthcare/cosmetics applications nanomaterials with crowded or vulnerable patent landscapes like dendrimers, ceramic nanoparticles, and metal nanoparticles represent battles worth fighting because of the broad applicability of these materials to a number of large addressable markets.
  • Hidden opportunities - characterized by a favorable patent outlook and large market potential - occur in energy applications of ceramic nanoparticles like high-performance cathodes in the $48 billion battery market, and in electronics applications of nanowires which could keep Moore's Law going in the next decade.

####

About Lux Research:
Lux Research provides market intelligence and strategic advice on nanotechnology and the physical sciences. We help our clients make better decisions to profit from cutting-edge technologies by tapping into our analysts' unique expertise and unrivaled network. Our clients include top decision makers at large corporations, investment professionals at leading financial institutions, CEOs of the most innovative start-ups, and visionary public policy makers.

For Lux Executive Summit registration and additional event details, please visit www.luxexecutivesummit.com

To get connected and for more information, click here.

About Foley & Lardner LLP:
Foley & Lardner LLP provides the full range of corporate legal counsel. Our attorneys understand today's most complex business issues, including corporate governance, securities enforcement, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property counseling and litigation, outsourcing and information technology, labor and employment, and tax. The firm offers total solutions in the automotive, emerging technologies, energy, entertainment and media, financial services, food, golf and resort services, insurance, health care, life sciences, nanotechnology, and sports industries.

To get connected and for more information, click here.

Contact:
Clay Perschall
Foley & Lardner LLP
312-832-4510
cperschall@foley.com

Peter Hebert
Lux Research Inc.
646-723-0702
peter.hebert@luxresearchinc.com

Copyright © Foley & Lardner LLP

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes/Nanorods

How to draw electricity from the bloodstream: A one-dimensional fluidic nanogenerator with a high power-conversion efficiency September 11th, 2017

Silk could improve sensitivity, flexibility of wearable body sensors August 20th, 2017

Regulation of two-dimensional nanomaterials: New driving force for lithium-ion batteries July 26th, 2017

Killing cancer in the heat of the moment: A new method efficiently transfers genes into cells, then activates them with light. This could lead to gene therapies for cancers July 9th, 2017

Materials/Metamaterials

Copper catalyst yields high efficiency CO2-to-fuels conversion: Berkeley Lab scientists discover critical role of nanoparticle transformation September 20th, 2017

New quantum phenomena in graphene superlattices September 18th, 2017

New insights into nanocrystal growth in liquid: Understanding process that creates complex crystals important for energy applications September 14th, 2017

Corrosion in real time: UCSB researchers get a nanoscale glimpse of crevice and pitting corrosion as it happens September 14th, 2017

Announcements

Copper catalyst yields high efficiency CO2-to-fuels conversion: Berkeley Lab scientists discover critical role of nanoparticle transformation September 20th, 2017

Leti Develops Proof of Concept to Test Wireless Systems in Aircraft: Will Present Results of Joint Project at AeroTech Conference And Exhibition in Fort Worth, Texas, Sept. 26-28 September 20th, 2017

Solar-to-fuel system recycles CO2 to make ethanol and ethylene: Berkeley Lab advance is first demonstration of efficient, light-powered production of fuel via artificial photosynthesis September 19th, 2017

A new approach to ultrafast light pulses: Unusual fluorescent materials could be used for rapid light-based communications systems September 19th, 2017

Patents/IP/Tech Transfer/Licensing

Nanoparticles limit damage in spinal cord injury: Injection after an injury reduces inflammation and scarring September 6th, 2017

More durable, less expensive fuel cells: University of Delaware researchers have developed a new technology that could speed up the commercialization of fuel cell vehicles September 5th, 2017

Argonne National Laboratory’s Continuous ALD Technology Licensed Exclusively to Forge Nano July 7th, 2017

Aculon Expands NanoProof® Product Line for Electronics Waterproofing Technology: With growing market opportunities Aculon Launches NanoProof® 8 with Push Through Connectivity™ and NanoProof® DAB a syringe application May 30th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project