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Examining the Viability of Patent Pools for the
Growing Nanotechnology Patent Thicket

Volume 3, Issue 3

Alexander Lee, University of Virginia

A patent pool is a cooperative arrangement between several holders of patents necessary to create a product or process, where all of the patents can be licensed together at a single price. Patent pools are an attractive option for fragmented patent landscapes, where they can avoid the high cost associated with acquiring numerous licensing agreements, prevent widespread patent disputes, and help create a standard. These issues are especially relevant to the emerging scientific field of nanotechnology, where there is widespread concern about the fragmentation of the intellectual property landscape. This article aims to develop a general list of criteria to aid in determining whether patent pools are a viable option for a market by examining relevant literature and conducting interviews; it then applies the criteria to the dendritic nanotechnology’s drug delivery and pharmaceutical applications. The completed list had nine criteria and, when applied to the dendritic nanotechnology market, concludes that a patent pool will not be necessary for the continued advancement of this application. The primary reason is that a huge amount of patents are in control of one company alone, Dendritic Nanotechnologies, and seem to be the primary source for the most highly sought after dendritic patents.

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