Thursday, April 21, 2005

State of nanotechnology patents ?

Lux Research has analyzed certain nanotechnology patents and concluded:

* Carbon nanotube patents look messy in electronics, but promising in
energy and healthcare and cosmetics. The common assumption that carbon
nanotube patents are both numerous and overlapping across all important
application categories is incorrect.
* Fullerenes look relatively unentangled, but crowded with abandoned
patents. The good news: Fullerenes show less entanglement than the
previous three categories. The bad news: Many patents issued may be
useless -- inventors have given up on a third of them by failing to pay
patent maintenance fees.
* Nanowire patents number few and seem distinct -- but Nanosys looms
large. Nanowire patents offer a good opportunity to license the most
important ones on an exclusive basis without worrying about IP
entanglement -- so good that start-up Nanosys has already attempted to
do it.

I can't say I agree on the conclusions about fullerenes, but that's for another day.
This post is written while on the road in Salem, Oregon.


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