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Title: Trends in Intellectual Property and Nanotechnology: Implications
Authors: Shand, Hope
Wetter, Kathy Jo
Keywords: Nanotechnology;Intellectual property;TRIPS
Issue Date: Jan-2007
Publisher: CSIR
Abstract: The race is on to win exclusive monopoly patents on nano-scale materials, devices and processes. The US National Science Foundation predicts that the immensely broad power and scope of nano-scale technologies will revolutionize manufacturing across all industry sectors – capturing a $1 trillion market within six or seven years. Although industry analysts assert that nanotech is in its infancy, patent thickets on fundamental nano-scale materials, tools and processes are already creating thorny barriers for would-be innovators. Industry analysts warn that, ‘IP roadblocks could severely retard the development of nanotechnology.’¹ After a decade of confusion and controversy over biotech patents, South governments are now facing a newer, bigger technology wave. By 1 July 2013 even ‘least developed’ countries will be obligated by the World Trade Organization’s Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) to accommodate nanotechnology-related inventions. Despite rosy predictions that nanotech will provide a technical fix for health, sustainable energy and environmental security in the South, researchers in the developing world are likely to find that participation in the proprietary ‘nanotech revolution’ is highly restricted by patent tollbooths, obliging them to pay royalities and licensing fees to gain access.
Page(s): 111-117
ISSN: 0971-5544
Appears in Collections:JIPR Vol.12(1) [January 2007]

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