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SKGF_Presentation_SKGF Nanotube Patent Study_2004

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  • 1. SKGF Nanotube Patent Study - 2004 Donald J. Featherstone Michael D. Specht Nano Science and Technology Institute Nanotech 2005 Anaheim, California May 11, 2005
  • 2. SKGF 2004 Nanotube Study Parameters • Reviewed 206 United States patents issued in 2004 with “nanotube” in the claims. • Does not include alternative nomenclatures for nanotubes (e.g., nanocylinder, carbon fibers). • Reviewed patent prosecution histories. 2
  • 3. SKGF Nanotube Study Purpose • Assess the quality of USPTO examination. Confirm or reject industry assumptions. • Determine prosecution tips to assist clients secure better nanotube patents faster. • Enhance view of Nanotube patent landscape. (Ongoing) 3
  • 4. Presentation Overview • Diversity • Pendancy • Examination Rigor • Landscape 4
  • 5. Nanotube Patent Growth Nanotube Patents Issued by Year 250 200 P a te n ts 150 100 50 0 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 Year 5
  • 6. P a te n ts 0 5 10 15 20 25 23 33 73 118 136 174 204 209 219 252 264 313 320 333 343 359 Patent Classes 361 372 385 Nanotube Patent Classes 427 429 435 445 501 ’04 Nanotube Patent Diversity 508 524 528 568 6
  • 7. ’04 Nanotube Patent Diversity • 56 different patent classes • Most common patent classes - 250 – Radiant Energy (14) - 257 – Active Solid State Devices (17) - 313 – Electric Lamp & Discharge Devices (17) - 423 – Chemistry of Inorganic Compounds (23) - 438 – Semiconductor Device Manufacturing (23) • 103 different art units • 142 different examiners (109 examiners examined only one nanotube patent application) 7
  • 8. ’04 Nanotube Patent Diversity – What the Data Suggests • Unlikely that USPTO will create an examining group dedicated to nanotechnology. • Nanotube patent thicket issue is overblown. • Does limited examiner experience reduce examination quality? More on this later. • Don’t assume that examiners know subject matter. • File extensive non-patent literature. • Aggressively interview cases. 8
  • 9. ’04 Nanotube Patent Pendancy '04 Nanotube Patent Pendancy (Filing Date to Issue Date) 14 12 10 Patents 8 6 4 2 0 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33 35 37 39 41 43 45 47 49 51 53 55 57 59 61 Months 9
  • 10. ’04 Nanotube Patent Pendancy Type Count Claim Pendancy Average (File – Issue) Average Overall 206 22.7 28.1 First Filed 164 23.5 28.9 Cont. 11 21.4 25.8 CIP 11 21.5 27.4 Divisional 18 16.2 36.6 PCT 1 33 46.1 10
  • 11. ’04 Nanotube Patent Pendancy '04 Nanotube Patent Pendancy (Filing Date to First Office Action) 20 18 16 AVG: 11.6 14 MED: 10.3 P a te n ts 12 MIN: 3.7 10 MAX: 34 8 6 4 2 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 Months 11
  • 12. ’04 Nanotube Patent Pendancy – What the Data Suggests • USPTO pendancy not likely to get better. • If pendancy too long, options include file petition to make special, conduct search, and file narrow claims. 12
  • 13. ’04 Nanotube Patent Examination Rigor • 23% First Office Action Allowance • 77% First Office Action Rejection - 58% Section 102 Rejection - 52% Section 103 Rejection - 20% Section 112, Para. 1 Rejection - 13% Based Rejection on Non- Patent Literature • Nearly 90% were allowed before a final rejection 13
  • 14. ’04 Nanotube Patent Examination Rigor - What the Data Suggests • High rates of allowance suggests less rigorous examination. • Applications spread too widely, may impact quality. • Rejections readily overcome supports notion of less rigorous examination. 14
  • 15. ’04 Nanotube Patent Examination Rigor - What the Data Suggests • Take what you can get, and move on. • Minimizes pendancy to optimize patent term • Earlier credentialing of technology • Reduces initial prosecution costs • Consider searching to supplement record. Supply ample non-patent literature. • Interview to teach and minimize written record. • Do “extra” due diligence when considering licensing or investing in nanotube patents. 15
  • 16. ’04 Nanotube Patent Landscape Claim Statistics Average: 23 Median: 18 Min: 1 Max: 206 Government Funding Percent Receiving Gov’t Funding: 16% Assignee Country Percent U.S.: 51% 16
  • 17. ’04 Nanotube Patent Landscape Government Funding Sources 18 16 14 12 P aten ts 10 8 6 4 2 0 Air Force Army DARPA DOE NASA NAVY NSF Agency 17
  • 18. ’04 Nanotube Patent Landscape '04 Nanotube Patent Assignee Country Austria Australia France Germany Great Britain India Israel Japan Korea No Listing Taiwan United States 18
  • 19. ’04 Nanotube Patent Landscape Most Common Assignees Samsung: 14 Rice University: 12 Daiken Chemical Co: 11 Hitachi: 08 Nakayama Yoshikazu: 08 Industrial Tech Res. Inst.: 07 Nantero: 06 Advanced Micro Devices: 06 19
  • 20. Nanotube Patent Landscape Nanotube Flow Sensing Device (6,718,834) Issued Patent: 1. A flow sensing device useful for measurement of liquid flow velocities along the direction of the liquid flow and irrespective of a nature of the liquid, said device comprising at least one carbon nanotube, said at least one carbon nanotube being arranged between at least two conducting elements, the two conducting elements connecting the at least one carbon nanotube to an electricity measurement device for measuring electricity generated as a function of a rate of flow of the liquid. Nanotube Treatments for Medical Devices (20050096509) Pending Application: 1. A medical apparatus comprising: a medical device sized for insertion into a patient, the medical device having a first surface, and a second surface; and, a plurality of nanotubes associated with the first surface of the medical device. 20
  • 21. Nanotube Patent Landscape Patents Claiming Nanotubes (10) Patents on Production Methods (38) Arc (11) Laser (3) CVD (24) Patents on General Purpose Tools & Processes (20) Application Patents (238) Materials (52) Circuits (110) Sensors (13) MEMS(8) Energy (37) Manipulation & Probes (18) Storage (12) Conversion (25) Hydrogen Storage/ Electrochemical (17) Photovoltaics (3) Thermal/Kinetic (5) Source: The Handbook of Nanotechnology 21
  • 22. Disclaimers & Contact Information These materials are not intended and should not be used as legal advice. If you need legal advice or an opinion on a specific issue or factual situation, please consult an attorney. Answering questions or the use of this material does not form or constitute an attorney-client relationship. These material are for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice The presentation reflects only the current considerations and views of the authors, which should not be attributed to Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox P.L.L.C. or any of its current or former clients. For More Information, please contact Donald J. Featherstone 202-772-8629 or donf@skgf.com Michael D. Specht 202-772-8756 or mspecht@skgf.com 22