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Nanotechnology Reviews

Editor-in-Chief: Kumar, Challa

Ed. by Hamblin, Michael R. / Bianco, Alberto / Jin, Rongchao / Köhler, J. Michael / Hudait, Mantu K. / Dai, Ning / Lytton-Jean, Abigail / Xie, Jianping / Bryan, Lynn A. / Thiessen, Rose / Alexiou, Christoph / Lee, Jae-Seung / Delville, Marie-Helene / Yan, Ning / Baretzky, Brigitte / Burg, Thomas P. / Fenniri, Hicham / Yang, Jun / Hosmane, Narayan S. / Dufrene, Yves / Podila, Ramakrishna / Eswaramoorthy, Muthusamy

6 Issues per year

IMPACT FACTOR 2016: 1.438
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CiteScore 2016: 1.64

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Volume 2, Issue 6


Intellectual property protection strategies for nanotechnology

Yuanjia Zhang / Maisoun Sulfab / Dennis Fernandez
Published Online: 2013-07-10 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ntrev-2012-0089


The field of nanotechnology has been widely recognized as comparable to biotechnology and digital information revolutions. As a general-purpose technology, nanotechnology is expected to have widespread applications across many critical industrial sectors. The growing market and competition require careful attention to intellectual property (IP) rights and strategies. The American patent system is currently going through the biggest reform since the passage of Patent Act of 1952, and many changes apply directly to the field of nanotechnology. This review discusses basic IP definitions, recent IP developments, and advanced protection strategies to better understand the status quo of IP specifically in nanotechnology. The potential impact from the patent system reform is also discussed.

Keywords: intellectual property; nanotechnology; patents


About the article

Yuanjia Zhang

Dr. Yuanjia Zhang received her BS degree in materials science from Fudan University in Shanghai. She obtained her MS and PhD degrees in materials science and engineering in Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, USA, where she worked on nanoscale organic transistors in the group of Professor George Malliaras. In 2005, she joined R&D of Xerox Corporation in Webster, NY, where she spent 3 years in product development and 4 years in nanotechnology research. In 2012, she became a registered patent agent before the US Patent and Trademark Office and joined Fernandez & Associates. Her current interests are in all aspects of preparing and prosecuting patent applications.

Maisoun Sulfab

Maisoun Sulfab is a registered patent agent at the US Patent Office with vast experience in analysis of biological data. Before obtaining her law degree from San Francisco Law School, Ms. Sulfab worked in discovery research and development for various drug discovery industries for the past 10 years. Ms. Sulfab received her MS degree in molecular and cellular biology from California State University at Sacramento, CA, USA, and her BS degree from Marymount University, Arlington, VA, USA.

Dennis Fernandez

Dennis Fernandez is a managing partner at Fernandez & Associates, LLP in Atherton, CA. He has over 30 years of experience in Silicon Valley and high-tech industry as a patent prosecutor and intellectual property litigator, venture capitalist, and engineering manager. He specializes in developing offensive and defensive patent strategies for start-up electronics, software, and biotechnology companies and their investors. Mr. Fernandez serves as strategic advisor to leading venture capital firms, including Sevin Rosen, Venrock, Charles River Ventures, and Walden International. Representative clients include Marvell Technology, SiRF Technology, Ayala Corporation, Stanford University, and Northwestern University as well as various start-up companies acquired by Cisco, Broadcom, Ciena, and Cadence Design Systems. He also serves on the editorial board of the Nanotechnology Law and Business Journal, the Board of Directors of the Association of Patent Law Firms, and the Science and Technology Advisory Council. Previously, Mr. Fernandez served on a consultancy with the United Nations Development Program on Asian economic development. Mr. Fernandez is also an inventor of several US and international patents in the areas of digital television, sensor networks, and bioinformatics. He has an electrical engineering degree from Northwestern University, a law degree from Suffolk University Law School, and is a registered US patent attorney.

Corresponding author: Dennis Fernandez, Fernandez and Associates, LLP, 1175 Osborn Avenue, Atherton, CA 94027, USA, phone: +1-650-325-4999, Fax: +1-650-325-1203, e-mail:

Received: 2013-03-26

Accepted: 2013-04-26

Published Online: 2013-07-10

Published in Print: 2013-12-01

Citation Information: Nanotechnology Reviews, Volume 2, Issue 6, Pages 725–742, ISSN (Online) 2191-9097, ISSN (Print) 2191-9089, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ntrev-2012-0089.

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©2013 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston. Copyright Clearance Center

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