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Archive for the 'Intellectual Property' Category

Patents on fundamental nanotechnology devices may slow progress

Posted by Christine Peterson on October 25th, 2006

First, the good news. Here’s an update from on the nanoactuator work reported previously. Not much new technical info, but new thoughts on cool applications: Researchers at the University of Portsmouth, UK, have developed an electronic switch based on DNA – a world-first bio-nanotechnology breakthrough that provides the foundation for the interface between living [...]

Nanotechnology: Lessons from open source biotech

Posted by Christine Peterson on October 16th, 2006

Roger Brent, director of the Molecular Sciences Institute in Berkeley, is a leader in open source biotech: Putting his patents where his principles are, Dr. Brent’s institute has drafted an “Open Source Policy” which commits to “[making] reagents and methods freely available to the research community.” You can see MSI’s open source policy and a [...]

U.S. nanotechnology funds study ethics of human enhancement

Posted by Christine Peterson on September 26th, 2006

Patrick Lin over at the Nanoethics Group let us know that the principals of that group have received a US$250,000 grant from the NSF to study the ethics of using nanotechnology to do human enhancement, through their academic affiliations at Dartmouth and Western Michigan U. The questions to be investigated by the nanoethics research team [...]

Nanotechnology patents delayed, nanotech public understanding mixed

Posted by Christine Peterson on August 21st, 2006

We don’t usually like to link to subscription sites, but as an editorial advisory board member, I’ll make an exception for Nanotech Briefs (you can download a free sample). The August issue has the usual hard-core technical news: SiGe transistor operates at frequencies above 500 GHz, Method creates hollow nanocrystals, nanopore technique sequences DNA [note: [...]

Former patent examiner concerned about nanotech patent thicket

Posted by Christine Peterson on March 31st, 2006

From Newswire Today: Raj Bawa, a former patent examiner and now biotech consultant and Adjunct Assistant Professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, writes in the journal Nanomedicine on his concerns about the growing nanotech “patent thicket” and its negative impact on innovation: “According to Dr. Raj Bawa, author of a recent paper titled ‘Will the nanomedicine [...]

US Patent office open to nanotech user input

Posted by Christine Peterson on March 27th, 2006

From the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, via ag-IP-News: a “Nanotechnology Customer Partnership meeting will be held on March 28, 2006 in the Madison Auditorium, North Side, located at 600 Dulany Street, in Alexandria, Virginia. This Nanotechnology Customer Partnership initiative is designed and developed to be a forum to share ideas, experiences, and insights between [...]

Malaysia to split nanotech IP three ways

Posted by Christine Peterson on March 15th, 2006

In the U.S., patent rights from federally-funded grants to university researchers generally go to the universities. Sometimes, the research professors benefit personally, depending on the school. This situation results from the Bahy-Dole Act of 1980. Most observers regard this act as an improvement over what came before, but it’s not clear that it is the [...]

Nanotech: a view from Indonesia

Posted by Christine Peterson on March 1st, 2006

Writing in The Jakarta Post, Indonesia’s leading English language newspaper, is attorney Mohamad Mova Al ‘Afghan. He looks specifically at molecular nanotechnology, which he defines as “the capability to assemble any product than can be designed directly from atoms and molecules.” See the full article, or these excerpts: “The revolution in manufacturing resulting from MNT [...]

Growing conflict over nanotech intellectual property

Posted by Christine Peterson on February 6th, 2006

An article in InformationWeek, while focused primarily on information technology, has lessons for nanotech as well (emphasis added): “U.S. universities need to recognize they’re in a global showdown for research dollars. But sometimes they’re their own worst enemies in landing such funding. The culprit: The conflict over who gets the right to collect royalties on [...]

Free nanotech patent reports

Posted by Christine Peterson on January 16th, 2006

Having trouble keeping up with patents in nanotechnology? Sure you are! The folks at Nanotechnology Now have a new nanopatent info service, the NanoTech Transfer Report, which they will send you free. OK, not forever, but free for 90 days, which should be long enough to see if it’s worth $39.95 a month to you. [...]

Bayh-Dole & Nanotechnology: corporate corruption of U.S. higher education

Posted by Christine Peterson on January 6th, 2006

In the journal Nanotechnology Law & Business, there’s a book review by J. Steven Rutt of Foley & Lardner titled “Bayh-Dole and Nanotechnology: A Review of University Inc.: The Corporate Corruption of American Higher Education”. The abstract: “Nanotechnology joined the Dummies book series in 2005.  While Dummies is a light read, Jennifer Washburn’s grave book, [...]

IP may be overvalued as nanotech success indicator

Posted by Christine Peterson on November 9th, 2005

From Lawrence Gasman over at NanoMarkets, a thought piece on nanotech intellectual property. An excerpt: “Contrary to the beliefs of many, the pure IP model may ultimately prove hard to defend in the nanotechnology business. Nanotechnology provides a very wide range of materials and manufacturing platforms. This in turn, suggests that performance goals for nanoproducts [...]

Goddard on predicting nanostructure properties

Posted by Christine Peterson on October 26th, 2005

Liveblogging the Foresight Conference research sessions: Co-chair Bill Goddard dedicated his talk to Eric Drexler for his role in stimulating this field as long as ago as early 1990′s. Dr. Goddard is describing his computations at the nanoscale, for example of the contact resistance at metal-carbon nanotube junctions. Palladium, platinum, and titanium look the best. [...]

Reforming nanotech patents: proposals of varying practicality

Posted by Christine Peterson on June 28th, 2005

ETC Group has issued a new 36-page report on Nanotech’s “Second Nature” Patents: Implications for the Global South (pdf), summarized in a two-page news release (pdf). The report lists various concerns about nanotech patents, including from Stanford’s Mark Lemley and the Nanobusiness Alliance, but the primary issue for ETC is access for poor countries. Multiple [...]

Nanotech to be used in “brand protection”

Posted by Christine Peterson on February 20th, 2005

From Intellectual Property News: "Brand protection technologies, once used exclusively to prevent and detect counterfeit passports and currency, are now being applied to packaging, products and production techniques. Controversial in nature, brand owners lead the way in implementing radio frequency identification (RFID), nanotechnology, DNA coding, and digital watermarks to allow their investigators, law enforcement, customs, distributors and ultimately consumers verify the authenticity of items."

Former Microsoft CTO to accumulate, rent out nanotech IP

Posted by Christine Peterson on February 18th, 2005

From Brad Stone of Newsweek on Nathan Myhrvold's company: "The five-year-old firm's plan is to create or buy new ideas, accumulate patentsóexclusive rights to use the inventionsóand rent those ideas to companies that need them to do the gritty work of producing real products…But they charge that Silicon Valley companies have stolen other people's inventions for too long while slashing their own R&D budgets. Referring to Intellectual Ventures' portfolio of patents as his own…" The company's home page explicitly mentions nanotechnology.

Nanotechnology as a patent category

Posted by RobertBradbury on October 24th, 2004

The New York Times (registration required) is reporting in Tiny Ideas Coming of Age that "nanotechnology" is now a legitimate patent category (Class 977).

The problem is that the definition "one dimension of an invention be less than 100 nanometers" is so general that its questionable whether or not it will be useful (for example all drug molecules fall into this category). And then of course there is the quote, "a number of overlapping patents have already been issued".

Is this an improvement or just one more sign that in a world as complex as ours currently is the patent system is fundamentally flawed?

Symposium on Nanotechnology and Patents

Posted by Jim Lewis on August 21st, 2004

MartinMeder writes "There will be an International Symposium on Nanotechnology and Patenting, The Hague, 9-10 November 2004. The proceedings will be in English. The program may be found here: _se1.pdf , while a brief summary can be found here: php The deadline to apply is October 20, 2004. A link to register for the Symposium will eventually appear here:"

NEC claims carbon nanotube monopoly

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 5th, 2004

Three Nanodot readers wrote with news that "NEC Corp. asserted Wednesday (March 3) that it owns essential patents on carbon nanotubes and, as a result, all companies seeking to make or sell carbon nanotube materials must obtain licenses from NEC." EE Times article

IP in the emerging nanoelectronics business

Posted by Jim Lewis on October 21st, 2002

from the grabbing-your-share dept.
Shootout at the IP Corral, an article by Sandra Helsel dated October 4, 2002, presents an interview with two IP specialists from the San Diego office of Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, LLP, focusing on IP and patent protection for nanoelectronics. "Nanotechnology is new, and this means a lot of possible patent protection could be very broad…This is a time of great opportunity; nanotechnology is such a wide-open field right now. It's rather like a land grab in the Wild West."