Showing posts with label ustpo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ustpo. Show all posts
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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.

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Patent classification for Nanotechnology

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Nanotech patent has been discussed in many web so there's probably nothing new, but, I'd like to draw your attention on which part of the regulatory system needs amendment.
Currently, Nanotech products might be patented under USPTO Class 977/Dig1, which, provides disclosure for (i) Nanostructure and chemical compositions of nanostructure; (ii) Device that include at least one nanostructure; (iii) Mathematical algorithms, e.g., computer software, etc., specifically adapted for modeling configurations or properties of nanostructure; (iv) Methods or apparatus for making, detecting, analyzing, or treating nanostructure; and (v) Specified particular uses of nanostructure. The Class define "nanostructure" as an atomic, molecular, or macromolecular structure that (a) Has at least one physical dimension of approximately 1-100 nanometers; and (b) Possesses a special property, provides a special function, or produces a special effect that is uniquely attributable to the structure's nanoscale physical size.
In its note, Class 977 stated at Note 5 that Apparatus for manufacturing nanostructures, nanomaterials and nanodevices under the scope of Class 977 is generally limited to apparatus specifically adapted for creating ordered structures on a nanometer scale, i.e. apparatus for "bottom up" manufacturing to create larger structures from atomic and molecular constituents. Apparatus for "top down" bulk manufacturing of nanostructures, nanomaterials and nanodevices are generally excluded from this Class.
This indicates that this specific class might be applied to Molecular Nanotechnology (MNT). The difficulties with this classification will arises as this class also patented Nanotechnology Design Software (See Point iii: Mathematical algorithms, e.g., computer software, etc., specifically adapted for modeling configurations or properties of nanostructure.
Software patenting has created many problems as it (i) prevent creativity/modifications (ii) halt the economy/free movement of ideas and (iii) may create nano-divide. I call upon nanotechnologists and lawyers to quickly formulate a win-win solution for nanotech intellectual property protection as an alternative of software patent.
Mohamad Mova Al 'Afghani