Patent Office Slows Down Nanotech Patents

Lux Research, in collaboration with Foley & Lardner, recently released a report titled, “Nanotech IP Battles Worth Fighting.” The report finds that the rate of new nanotech patent issuances stalled at 4% in 2005 after exceeding 20% in the last few years. At the same time, however, the number of public patent applications for nanotechnology continued to increase, growing by 52% to 2,714 outstanding nanotech patent applications.

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. The number of pending public nanotech patent applications in 2005 outnumbering issued nanotech patents by more than three to one.

Source: Lux Research (pdf)