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Nanotechnology and U.S. Patents: A Statistical Analysis
Volume 3, Issue 3

Blaise Mouttet, Landon IP

Nanotechnology, while existing more as a pure science than a practical technology for the past few decades, is quickly approaching a threshold where new applications will begin to dominate the underlying science. Patents, which are typically better indicators of commercial interest than scientific publications, are a valuable source of information for determining who will own this technology and thus control its evolution. Based on statistics drawn from a recently created U.S. patent class for nanotechnology, this article looks at the various interests of corporations, governments, universities, and individuals in nanotechnology. Detailed analysis of the number of patents for basic nanostructures, manufacturing or detection of nanostructures, medical applications of nanostructures, electronic applications of nanostructures, and fullerenes/nanotubes reveals how interest in these various areas has been developing over the past few years, and may provide some indication of how this growth will progress in the coming years.

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