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Protecting Nanotechnology Intellectual Property (“Nano-IP”) in China
Volume 2, Issue 1

Kirk Hermann, Shimokaji & Associates
Sean O’Neill, Stetina, Brunda, Garred & Brucker
Blaine R. Turnacliff, Lehman, Lee & Xu
Mark B. Wilbert, Lehman, Lee & Xu Ying Zhang, Kangxin Partners, P.C.
Mark J. Graffagnini, Nanotechnology Law & Business

The decision for many nanotechnology start-ups to patent or not to patent in China is, in many ways, dependent on the broader question of whether the nanotechnology start-up chooses to rely on patent protection or trade secret to protect its IP more generally. While some have criticized China for its seeming lack of IP protection, particularly after China’s recent invalidation of pharmaceutical patents, the long-term trend suggests that nanotechnology start-ups should seriously consider pursuing patent protection in China when considering the decision to out-source manufacturing and other operations in China. China’s developing IP-protection system is still in its infancy and cannot necessarily be expected to perform as well as some of the more established systems, at least in the short-term. Nonetheless, the trends in China regarding nanotechnology development and IP protections, more generally, suggest that nanotechnology start-ups should not overlook the possibility that Chinese nanotechnology patents will provide meaningful protection. While these issues will be discussed in the context of protecting nano-IP, the discussion is applicable to other areas of technology.

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