Size matters — patenting at the nanoscale
Can you gain protection for a nanomaterial despite the material itself having been disclosed before?
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In the UK, the chemical industry annually contributes an estimated £8 billion to the economy. Chemicals are fundamental to a number of significant industries including green tech, healthcare, aerospace, computing, electronic and optical equipment, food products, automotive, machinery, communications and electronics. IP protection (especially patents) is an established mechanism to capitalise on R&D in the sector, to add variety to revenue streams and complement an organisation’s primary business activities.
Materials inventions often sit at the start of a complex commercial value chain, with a significant proportion of an end product’s value added downstream of the initial synthesis. For new manufacturers, there are likely to be opportunities for capturing IP assets across the value chain to get the best commercial return and help retain freedom to operate. A deep, varied patent portfolio can provide a variety of revenue streams without the burden of additional capital investment and infrastructure.
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