Past REU Participants & Project Pages

2006 REU Porjects
2006 REU Projects
2006 Participant: Bryan Foster
Project Title: The Implications of Broad Nanotechnology Patents on the Future of Nanotechnology

Advisors:Michael Gorman, Nathan Swami
As emerging technologies develop, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) often issues overly broad patents because there is no prior art available to limit the scope of a patent application. These broad patents can stifle future innovations instead of promoting further innovations as the patent system was designed to do. Nanotechnology is one such technology where broad patents have been issued that could threaten the viability of future patents. As private sectors enter the nanotechnology field, they must be aware of the risks inherit in patenting new technologies and need to develop strategies to manage these risks in order to be financially successful and avoid costly patent litigation.

The occurrences of overlapping nanotechnology patents are reducing. Much of the improvement is directly related to the USPTO’s implementation of the cross-reference digest.
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