National Science Foundation uses the term nanotechnology to describe a system
with the following key properties
At least one
dimension of about one to 100 nanometres.
processes which exhibit control over the physical and chemical attributes of
molecular scale structures.
Can be combined
to form larger structures.
fast-moving field such as nanotechnology, new developments which are potentially
protectable are made every day. Such developments include:
For more information on patent protection for each type of development, then click on the corresponding entry.
whether it is worth trying to protect an invention, the inventor needs to decide
whether a competitor is likely to be able to, or want to, copy the invention.
For example, new compositions of matter, such as new compounds or new additives
in existing compounds, are often worth protecting since it is easy to determine
whether a competitor is selling a similar composition. The protection extends to
the composition itself, even if the competitor is using the matter for another purpose.
Similarly the sale of products incorporating a novel device structures, such as
a new type of transistor or a micromolecular machine, can easily be detected.
other hand the copying of a new method for the synthesis of matter may be harder
to detect unless the method leaves a “signature” in the end product.
Likewise, it is often difficult to determine which method, such as lithography
or nanoprinting, has been used in the fabrication of devices.
of the patent define the scope of protection of the patent. Depending on the
claims of the patent, the owner has protection
not only against direct copiers of the invention but also against others who are
exploiting similar inventions, as long as these
fall within the terms of the claims.
Copyright © 2001, 2002 Huber & Schüssler Patentanwälte