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Current Trends in Nanotech Patents: A View From Inside the Patent Office
Volume 1, Issue 1

Vivek Koppikar, US Patent & Trademark Office
Stephen B. Maebius, Foley & Lardner
J. Steven Rutt, Foley & Lardner

Patents are critical to commercialization of nanotechnology. With large numbers of patents being filed, investors, lawyers, and managers must understand legal issues involving nanotech patents and carefully monitor patent issuances, licenses, and litigation. In this article, PTO examiner Vivek Koppikar and patent attorneys Stephen Maebius and Steve Rutt discuss trends in nanotechnology patents. They first survey the patent landscape and demonstrate that large numbers of nanotech patents are being filed in different areas of nanotechnology. They then discuss what the PTO is doing to prepare for the continued increase in applications. Finally, they analyze obstacles that applicants might face in filing nanotech patents. Specifically, the doctrines of inherent anticipation, obviousness, and enablement might be used by examiners to reject or require amendment of claims.

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