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Nanotech the IP issues

Monday, November 20, 2006

I just realized that wikipedia just renewed its entry on nanotech, especially in its Intellectual Property part:
On the structural level, critics of nanotechnology point to a new world of ownership and corporate control opened up by nanotechnology. The claim is that, just as biotechnology's ability to manipulate genes went hand in hand with the patenting of life, so too nanotechnology's ability to manipulate molecules has led to the patenting of matter. The last few years has seen a gold rush to claim patents at the nanoscale. Over 800 nano-related patents were granted in 2003, and the numbers are increasing year to year. Corporations are already taking out broad-ranging patents on nanoscale discoveries and inventions. For example, two corporations, NEC and IBM, hold the basic patents on carbon nanotubes, one of the current cornerstones of nanotechnology. Carbon nanotubes have a wide range of uses, and look set to become crucial to several industries from electronics and computers, to strengthened materials to drug delivery and diagnostics. Carbon nanotubes are poised to become a major traded commodity with the potential to replace major conventional raw materials.
We have had discussions on these matters on the past (which you can view by clicking the labels below). There are also some explanations on these matters on the net. For example, a paper from Lawrence Letham which highlights general legal issues relating to nanotech, a general IP trend on nanotech from Chemical and Engineering magazine, Nanotech patent application in Japan from D. Kanama, Nanotech patent trends by Kallinger, Patent Trend survey from Foley Lardner and US Patent Reform for Nanotech from WLF.