Nominated for Worst Nanopiracy

Monday 27 March 2006

Reasons for this nomination

For securing a US patent on 'metal-oxide nanorods' covering more than a third of the chemical elements of the periodic table.

Supporting info

Nanotechnology, the manipulation of matter at the most fundamental level of nature (i.e., atoms and molecules), is expected to be the transformational technology of the 21st century, revolutionizing manufacturing across all industry sectors. Globally, billions of dollars are pouring into basic research and the number of nanotech-related scientific articles, patents, and investment portfolios is surging. When Harvard University's Charles Lieber obtained a key patent (US patent 5,897,945), on nano-scale metal oxide nanorods, he didn't claim nanorods composed of a single type of metal - but instead claimed a metal oxide selected from up to 33 chemical elements. Harvard's claims on nanorods include those comprised of titanium, zirconium, hafnium, vanadium, niobium, tantalum, chromium, molybdenum, tungsten, manganese, technetium, rhenium, iron, osmium, cobalt, nickel, copper, zinc, cadmium, scandium, yttrium, lanthanum, a lanthanide series element, boron, gallium, indium, thallium, germanium, tin, lead, magnesium, calcium, strontium and barium. In a single patent, Lieber's claims extend to nearly one-third of the chemical elements in the Periodic Table. Patent lawyers have identified Harvard's patent (licensed to Nanosys, Inc.) as one of the top 10 patents that could influence the development of nanotechnology.