Thursday, September 28, 2006

US Patent 7113690 - Nanometallic Grating For Anti-Counterfeiting

Holographic patterns and other special indicia are usually formed on credit cards and other sensitive items to ensure authenticity. However, as better counterfeiting techniques are developed better anti-counterfeiting techniques must also be developed. This patent brings anti-counterfeiting into the nanoscale by using a nano-grating to determine authenticity. Claim 1 reads:

1. An anti-counterfeit method using a nano metal grating, comprising the acts of: creating a nano metal grating on an object to be inspected, wherein said nano metal grating has been polarized; providing incident light to irradiate the nano metal grating along an incident angle, and wherein the incident light is composed of polarization light beams of different polarization directions, whereby the polarization light beams are able to be reflected by the nano metal grating or pass through the nano metal grating; and inspecting whether a reflection light is only observed along a reflection angle relative to the incident angle and whether a refraction light is able to be observed from the nano metal grating, wherein if the reflection light is only observed along the reflection angle and if the refraction light is observed from the nano metal grating, the object is genuine.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

US Patent 7112816 - Molecular Sensor Using Functionalized Carbon Nanotube

Carbon nanotubes can be used as resonating cantilevers if fixed at one end. By chemical functionalization the nanotubes can be made responsive to specific molecules which may be detected via alteration of the nanotubes resonant characteristics. This patent presents some broad claims to this type of sensor. Claim 22 is representative.

22. A carbon nanotube sensor for detection of a small particle or molecule, said sensor comprising: a gate; a source and a drain positioned on said gate; a carbon nanotube extending from one of said source and said drain and being grown from a catalytic material deposited on one of said source and said drain; a functional receptor disposed at an end of said carbon nanotube such that said carbon nanotube is receptive to at least one of the small particle and the molecule; wherein said carbon nanotube resonates at a first resonance frequency when said functional receptor at said end of said carbon nanotube is free of the small particle and the molecule, and said carbon nanotube resonates at a second resonance frequency that is different from said first resonance frequency when at least one of the small particle and the molecule is associated with said functional receptor at said end of said carbon nanotube.

US Patent 7112464 - Vertical Nanofabric Switches

Many companies are proposing using nanotubes as components in future transistor designs, however Nantero is way ahead in terms of patents directed to nanotube based electronics which are suitable for mass production. This patent teaches manufacturing nanotube ribbons in a vertical orientation on a substrate which are capable of acting as mechanical switches. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for making an electro-mechanical device, comprising: providing a structure having a channel with two vertical walls and a base and having a conductive trace having a face exposed to and parallel to one of the vertical walls; providing sacrificial material on the conductive trace; providing a nanotube article on the sacrificial layer and substantially conforming to at least a vertically-extending portion of the channel and sacrificial material; and removing at least a portion of the sacrificial material so that the nanotube article is vertically suspended and in spaced relation to the one conductive trace.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Top Ten Broadest US Patents for Making or Processing Nanostructures

Based on a sort by claim breadth of 2,325 US patents involving methods of making or processing nanostructures, these are the top 10 results:

1. US Patent 6139919 - University of Kentucky, priority June 19, 1999

Claim 1- "A method of doping carbon nanotubes, comprising: soaking said carbon nanotubes in molten iodine in a vessel."

2. US Patent 6500497 - Data Storage Institute, priority October 1, 2001

Claim 1- "A method of converting a potentially magnetic material into a magnetic patterned nanostructure by using mask-controlled local phase transition."

3. US Patent 6905667 - Zyvex Corporation/Univ. of Pittsburgh, priority May 2, 2002

Claim 1- " A method of functionalizing a nanotube, said method comprising: noncovalently bonding a polymer comprising at least one functional group with a nanotube in a non- wrapping fashion."

4. US Patent 6837928 - Stanford University, priority August 30, 2001

Claim 1- "A method for manufacturing a carbon nanotube device, the method comprising applying an electric field and aligning a carbon nanotube with the electric field."

5. US Patent 6041600 - Silverbrook Research, priority July 15, 1997

Claim 1 - "A method of constructing one or more electrically conductive portions within a substantially non-conductive material comprising embedding quantum wires of a substantially conductive material within said portions."

6. US Patent 6841139 - Rice University, priority Sept.18,1998

Claim 1 - "A method for derivatizing a single wall carbon nanotube comprising the step of covalently bonding substituents to carbon atoms on a sidewall of the single wall carbon nanotube."

7. US Patent 6368406 - Chrysalis Technologies Incorporated, priority Sept.13, 2000

Claim 1 - "A method of making intermetallic nanoparticles comprising subjecting a starting material to laser energy so as to form a vapor and condensing the vapor so as to form intermetallic nanoparticles."

8. US Patent 6986876 - Rice University, priority March 7, 1997

Claim 1 - "A method of forming a macroscopic molecular array of tubular carbon molecules, said method comprising the step of assembling subarrays of at least about 1,000,000 single-wall carbon nanotubes into a composite array."

9. US Patent 6846565 - University of Texas, priority July 2, 2001

Claim 1 - "A method of forming nanoparticles comprising heating a mixture of a Group IV metal organometallic precursor and a capping agent at a temperature wherein the precursor decomposes, and the nanoparticles are formed."

10. US Patent 6423583 - IBM, priority January 3, 2001

Claim 1 - "A method for forming a device comprising the steps of: providing a substrate; providing a plurality of nanotubes in contact with the substrate; and selectively breaking a nanotube using an electrical current."

Next week - Top ten broadest US nanotechnology patents in biological/medical applications.

US Patent 7109643 - Carbon Nanofiber Sheet Actuator

Microactuators are a thriving field with applications in mechanical switches, optical relays, microrobotics, etc. A variety of materials may be used for such microactuators including materials exhibiting piezoelectric, electrostrictive, or shape memory effects. This patent claims an actuator which uses carbon nanofiber material to actuate a polymer sheet film. Claim 1 reads:

1. An actuator, comprising: a flexible sheet member being made of a polymer material; and electrodes being respectively provided on both faces of said sheet member, said electrodes being mainly made of carbon nano fibers, wherein the carbon nano fibers of said electrodes rise with respect to said sheet member, and one end of the carbon nano fibers bite into said sheet member.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

US Patent 7109593 - Microsoft's Quantum Computer

Several US patents have issued (mostly to a company called D-Wave) for different strategies of quantum computing which uses, not just the 0's and 1's of ordinary computers, but rather an indeterminate state to facilitate parallel processing. This patent is (I think) the first US patent issued to Microsoft in this field.

1. A method for performing quantum computation, the method comprising: identifying a first quantum state of a lattice having a system of quasi-particles disposed thereon; moving the quasi-particles within the lattice according to at least one predefined rule; identifying a second quantum state of the lattice after the quasi-particles have been moved; and determining a computational result based on the second quantum state of the lattice.

US Patent 7109581 - Self-Assembled Nanostructures For Heat Sink

Due to a large surface-to-volume ratio nanostructures make fairly good heat dissipating materials. This is the second US patent in recent weeks to issue a patent for nanostructures used in this fashion. The first was US 7086451 (from a different company) which was published first but has a later priority date. Claim 1 of this patent reads:

1. A micro-cooler device structure comprising: a heat sink body having a heat sink surface; a plurality of individually separated, rod like nano-structures for transferring thermal energy from a surface of at least one integrated circuit chip to said heat sink surface, said plurality of individually separated, rod-like nano-structures being disposed between said heat sink surface and said surface of at least one integrated circuit chip; and, a thermally conductive metallic material disposed within interstitial voids between said plurality of individually separated, rod-like nano-structures.

US Patent 7109515 - Conical Carbon Nanotips

Nanoscale tips are very useful to a wide range of applications including biological probes and electron emission devices used in flat panel displays. However, usually the tips are cylindrical in shape and are subject to some vibrational effects. This patent teaches a method to alleviate this problem by forming a conical rather than a cylindrical carbon nanostructure. Claim 1 reads:

1. An apparatus, comprising an expanded base carbon containing tip including: a carbon containing expanded base coupled to a substrate; and a carbon containing extension coupled to said carbon containing expanded base, wherein said carbon containing expanded base is substantially cylindrically symmetrical and said carbon containing extension is substantially cylindrically symmetrical, and wherein the expanded base carbon containing tip defines a slope with a discontinuity between the carbon containing expanded base and the carbon containing extension.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

US Patent 7108841 - E-Field Assisted Nanotube Growth

Growing parallel arrays of vertically oriented nanotubes on a substrate is important for a variety of applications (field emission displays, parallel e-beam lithography, etc.) This patent from Smalley's group at Rice has priority to 1997 and claims using electric fields to assure parallelism when forming single walled nanotubes using catalytic growth. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for forming a macroscopic molecular array of tubular carbon molecules, said method comprising the steps of: a) providing a nanoscale array of microwells on a substrate; b) depositing a metal catalyst in each of said microwells; and c) directing a stream of hydrocarbon or CO feedstock gas at said substrate under conditions that effect growth of single-wall carbon nanotubes from each microwell, and d) applying an electric field in the vicinity of said substrate to assist in the alignment of said nanotubes growing from said microwells.

US Patent 7108485 - Noise Reduction using Nano-nails

This patent uses nanotechnology to help solve energy generation problems in a somewhat indirect way. Wind-based power generation is hindered by the creation of noise. This patent uses nanostructured structures formed from hydrophobic polymers to dissipate such noise. Claim 1 reads:

1. A rotor blade comprising: a surface; a fluid repellent structure coated on at least a portion of said surface, said structure having a plurality of nano-nails providing a degree of unevenness and irregularity on said portion of the surface such that water drops do not adhere to the rotor blade surface and rotor blade sound generation in operation of a wind power installation is lessened.

US Patent 7107777 - IC Cooling with Mems Fluid Pump

Increasing circuit density results in increased heat generation. Heat sinks, fans, and heat spreaders are typically used for cooling but are limited in effectiveness for chips with high power density areas. This patent proposes that instead of using external cooling mechanisms, such as fans and heat sinks, the cooling devices should be integrated with the IC using micropumps for circulating cooling liquid through the high power density areas of ICs. Claim 1 reads:

1. A cooling mechanism integrally formed within an integrated circuit comprising a microelectromechanical system (MEMS) heat pump and channels embedded within the integrated circuit; wherein the MEMS heat pump circulates a cooling fluid throughout the channels within the integrated circuit.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Top Ten Broadest US Patents for Nanostructures

I have started playing around with automated sorting techniques to organize large sets of patents into ordered lists according to claim breadth. I applied these techniques to 1,754 nanostructure patents classified in class 977 (nanotechnology) of the US patent classification system and extracted the top ten most interesting results. Note: the sorting is based on the number of limitations in the claim and is not necessarily indicative of economic importance but merely the overall breadth of issued nanostructure claims. Here are the top ten results:

1. US Patent 5523438 (Hoerst AG, priority July 23, 1993)

Claim 1 - "A transition metal-fullerene intercalation compound."

2. US Patent 6940086 (Georgia Tech Research Corporation, priority Sept. 28, 2001)

Claim 1 - "A nanostructure, comprising a tin oxide (SnO2) nanowire."

3. US Patent 5424054 (IBM, priority May 21, 1993)

Claim 3 - "A hollow carbon fiber having a wall consisting essentially of a single layer of carbon

4. US Patent 6552172 (Habto Biotech, Inc., filed August 30, 2001)

Claim 1 - "Isolated fibrin nanoparticles having a mean diameter of 200-2000 nm."

5. US Patent 5958358 (Yeda Research and Development Co., Ltd., priority July 8, 1992)

Claim 1 - "A fullerene-like or nanotube structure of a transition metal chalcogenide."

6. US Patent 6368713 (Japan Science and Technology Corporation, priority July 18, 1997)

Claim 1 - " A hollow carbon microcoil having a pitch that is substantially zero."

7. US Patent 6939524 (The Regents of the University of California, priority March 5, 1999)

Claim 1 - " A composition of matter comprising a solid state material consisting essentially of C36 fullerene molecules."

8. US Patent 5310669 (The Trustees of Dartmouth College, priority June 22, 1992)

Claim 1 - "A substrate comprising a fullerene-coated surface having a biological substance attached to the fullerene-coated surface."

9. US Patent 6843850 (IBM, priority August 23, 2002)

Claim 1 - "A single-walled nanotube that has been manufactured in the absence of a catalyst."

10. US Patent 6683783 (Rice University, priority March 7, 1997)

Claim 1 - "A composition of matter comprising at least about 99% by weight of single-wall carbon molecules."

#3 and #9 are probably the most interesting as they give IBM pretty much complete control of single walled carbon nanotubes (at least until the patents expire). If anyone would like the complete sorted list of all nanostructure patent (~2.6 Meg Excel spreadsheet) send requests to

Coming Next Week - Top Ten Broadest US Patents for Manufacturing Nanostructures (e.g. dip pen nanolithography, nanoimprint lithography, self assembly, etc. )

US Patent 7107252 - Pattern Recognition Using Nanostructures

Pattern recognition is a problem for which traditional computational systems are ill suited because a certain degree of flexibility is necessary to determine matching and non-matching patterns. Traditional systems built upon binary logic are too well defined to reliably deal with the inherent fuzziness in analyzing voice and image patterns. This patent is one of several patents from Alex Nugent an inventor and founder of Knowm Tech which is attempting to find solutions to pattern recognition by using nanostructures formed to create reconfigurable neural nets. It has been noted that pattern recognition is a key step to achieving strong AI. If Nugent's strategy is successful (or at least more successful than competing approaches) and can lead to strong AI this patent may well be one of the more valuable nanotechnology related patents. Claim 1 reads:

1. A pattern recognition system, comprising: a neural network based on nanotechnology, wherein said neural network comprises a plurality of nanoconnections disposed within a solution within a connection network of said plurality of nanoconnections; and a pattern input unit, which communicates with said neural network, wherein said neural network processes data input via said pattern input unit in order to recognize data patterns.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

US Patent 7105596 - Polymer Composite with at least a Million Single Walled Nanotubes

Due to multiple continuation filings a series of broad single walled nanotube patents with early priority dates have been issuing recently from Rice University (i.e. Smalley et al.) This patent claims all single walled nanotube polymer composites including more than a million nanotubes. Claim 1 reads:

1. A composite material comprising: (a) a matrix, wherein said matrix comprises a polymer; and (b) a single-wall carbon nanotube material embedded within said matrix, wherein said single-wall carbon nanotube material comprises fibers of greater than 10.sup.6 single-wall carbon nanotubes.

US Patent 7105118 - Nanodot 3D Matrix

Improvements in mass data storage methods have improved densities to levels of 100 Gbits/square inch and beyond. However, these approaches are limited by the use of only a single layer of material for storing the data. This patent teaches manufacturing a multilayered nanostructrured system for multilevel memory storage (although it appears unclear to me how they will address different levels for the storage.)

Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for forming a nanostructure, comprising self-assembling a three-dimensional multi-layer nanodot arrays of uniform size in a matrix material from a nanodot material based upon a difference in Gibb's free energy of oxidation of the nanodot material and the matrix material.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

US Patent 7104313 - Magnetic Nanoparticles for Cooling

Fluid based cooling of electronics is fairly common. However, this patent proposes including magnetic nanoparticles in the cooling fluid which increase the thermal conductivity of the fluid and which may be circulated via an electromagnetic pump. Claim 1 reads:

1. An apparatus comprising: a thermally conductive plate to be placed in contact with a heat generating device wherein the heat generating device is selected from a group consisting of a processor, a chipset, a graphics controller, and a memory controller; a fluid loop coupled to the plate to circulate fluid and have the fluid absorb heat from the plate, the fluid loop to thereafter pass the fluid to a heat exchanger, the fluid containing magnetic nanoparticles and deionized water, to facilitate cooling of the heat generating device; and an electro-magnetic pump to circulate the fluid through the fluid loop.

US Patent 7103977 - Shaving Using Microfluidics

The same microfabrication methods used in integrated circuit fabrication have been applied in forming microfluidic passages used in applications ranging from biological assays to inkjet printing. This patent extends the range of applications to shaving and provides microfluidic systems to deliver shaving fluid during shaving to consistantly and evenly apply the fluid for a smooth shave. Claim 1 reads:

1. A razor assembly which comprises: a) a razor head having at least one blade; and b) a shaving aid delivery system disposed within the razor head, the shaving aid delivery system including a supply of at least one shaving aid fluid, a microfluidic circuit for communicating the shaving aid fluid from the supply to a plurality of outlet ports along a surface of the shaving aid delivery system, and at least one osmotic pump in a substrate for driving the shaving aid fluid from the supply through the microfluidic circuit.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Nanotechnology Patent Statistics

Recently I published an article in Nanotechnology Law & Business Journal ( providing detailed statistics on various aspects of US nanotechnology patents. The article examines many aspects of US nanotechnology patent distribution over the last few years and examines the distribution and top patent holders among corporations, universities, govt./military, and individual inventors based on the newly created U.S. patent class in nanotechnology (class 977).

As an extension of the analysis from the above article (and as an exclusive feature to TinyTechIP) I will soon be posting listings of the top US patents according to patent claim breadth in the following areas:

a) Nanostructure
b) Nanoscale Detection
c) Nanoscale Fabrication
d) Nanotechnology Medical Applications
e) Nanotechnoogy Electrical Applications

Stay tuned...

US Patent 7102656 - Electrostatically Driven Dip Pen Nanolithography

Dip Pen Lithography is a technique for drawing nanoscale patterns on substrates using ultrafine tips in an analogous fashion to an ink pen drawing on paper. Traditionally some potential difference between the tip and the substrates s required to perform the transfer. As an alternative this patent proposes using an electrically charged precursor coating formed on the substrate to attract an oppositely charged polymer from the tip. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of lithography comprising: transporting a patterning compound from a tip to a substrate surface to form a pattern on the substrate surface, wherein the patterning compound has a charged polymeric backbone with a first electrostatic charge and the substrate surface comprises functional groups which provide a second electrostatic charge which is opposite to the first electrostatic charge; and wherein the patterning compound is a conducting polymer.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

US Patent 7102157 - Nanotube Vacuum Electronics

Over the past fifty years vaccum devices have been mostly replaced by solid state devices in electronics applications. However, vacuum devices have certain advantages such as high frequency operation without the difficulties of sub-micron gate lengths. While vacuum electronics has been limited by the size of the cathode, the ability of carbon nanotubes to act as electron emitters has circumvented this problem. This patent proposes a triode configuration using nanotube cathodes. Claim 1 reads:

1. A triode, comprised of the following elements: a nanotube placed on the insulating substrate and having two metal contacts on top of it; first contact is placed at the end of the nanotube, while the second contact is placed essentially in the middle of the nanotube, on top of the insulating layer preliminary disposed on the nanotube; both said metal contacts are connected respectively to the first and second electrodes; the third electrode is placed next to the second electrode, on the plane below the plane of said second electrode; the nanotube is placed in the direction normal to the edge of the first electrode neighboring the second electrode; one of the tips of the nanotube is left exposed and protrudes into the area of the third electrode.

US Patent 7102152 - Quantum Dot and Non-Quantum Dot Fluorescent Mixture

For lighting and display applications there is much interest in producing white light LEDs, however most LEDs have a narrow emission spectrum allowing for only single color emission. This patent proposes the use of a mixture of both quantum dot and non-quantum dot fluorescent material to broaden the spectrum and achieve white light sources from narrow band emission. Claim 1 reads:

1. A device for emitting output light, said device comprising: a light source that emits original light; and a wavelength-shifting region optically coupled to said light source to receive said original light, said wavelength-shifting region including at least one type of quantum dots to convert some of said original light to first converted light, said wavelength-shifting region further including non-quantum fluorescent material to convert some of said original light to second converted light, said first converted light and said second converted light being components of said output light.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

US Patent 7101761 - Method of Making Suspended Nanostructure

Cantilevers are common structures formed by micromechanical processing techniques using sacrificial spacer films. This patent teaches using similar techniques in forming nanoscale cantilevered structures for use in forming a coaxial gate structure for a transistor. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method comprising: providing a nanostructure covered on a substrate; oxidizing a first portion of the nanostructure to define a sacrificial layer between the substrate and a second portion of the nanostructure; forming a first support structure over the nanostructure; forming a second support structure over the nanostructure; and removing the sacrificial layer from the nanostructure such that second portion of the nanostructure is suspended a distance from a surface of the substrate between the first and second support structure.

US Patent 7101760 - Manufacturing Nanocrystal Memory From Silicon Seeds

Non-volatile memory cells usually rely on a charge storage layer wherein the storage of charge beneath an insulation layer determines whether a 0 or 1 is stored in the cell. Silicon nanocrystals have been proposed as a charge storage element for such memory cells and this patent proposes an improved fabrication procedure to produce more efficient discrete charge storage for nanocrystal memories. Claim 1 reads:

1. Method of making a nanocrystal charge storage layer comprising: embedding silicon seeds in a silicon containing insulative layer, etching the silicon containing insulative layer to expose the silicon seeds to an ambient environment, and vapor depositing silicon onto the silicon seeds thereby growing silicon nanocrystals.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

US Patent 7101718 - Organoluminescent Semiconductor Nanocrystal

Semiconductor nanocrystals (i.e. quantum dots) are currently being used as materials for fluorescent labeling of biological material. This patent from the University of California has priority back to 1997 and presents a broad claim to such materials. Claim 1 reads:

1. A composition, comprising: a semiconductor nanocrystal which emits light when excited; a polymerizable linking agent; an affinity molecule linked to the linking agent; and a detectable substance bound to the affinity molecule.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

US Patent 7099071 - Carbon Nanotube Actuator

While issued only last week, this patent from AMBIT Corp. has priority from 1997 and presents a broad claim to electrostatically driven nanotube motion. Companies such as Daiken Chemical of Japan and Nantero of the US are using similar technology to respectively construct nanotweezers and mechanical memory systems. If these technologies take off this patent may become somewhat valuable. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of moving a carbon nanotube which is attached by one end thereof, to a junction on a substrate, said method comprising: applying a charge to said carbon nanotube; and providing a repelling force to an adjacent structure from said carbon nanotube to which said charge has been applied.

US Patent 7098393 - Thermoelectric Nanowires Formed from Bi/Te Alloy

AAO (anodic aluminum oxide) templates are a very popular way to create uniform arrays of vertically oriented nanowires and nanotubes. This patent from Caltech teaches using AAO templates to form efficient thermoelectric energy convertors from Bi/Te alloy nanowires. Claim 1 and 9 are representative.

1. A thermoelectric device, comprising: a porous semiconductor having pores therein; a plurality of discrete thermoelectric nanowires formed in said pores of said porous semiconductor, each of the nanowires formed of a Bi/Te alloy, and each having an outer extent of a size at which thermoelectrically significant quantum confinement effects occur, said plurality of thermoelectric nanowires connected to one another to form an operative thermoelectric device.

13. A thermoelectric device, comprising: a porous substrate, having pores therein; a plurality of thermoelectric nanowires, formed in said pores of said porous substrate, each having an outer extent of less than approximately 100 nm, connected to one another to form an operative thermoelectric device.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

US Patent 7098144 - IrOx Nanotubes

While carbon nanotubes are the most commonly used type of nanotube, other types have been experimented with such as silicon based and chalcogenide (Se, S or Te based) nanotubes. This patent claims a method for fabricating iridium oxide nanotubes. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for forming iridium oxide (IrOx) nanotubes, the method comprising: providing a substrate with a surface; introducing a (methylcyclopentadienyl)(1,5-cyclooctadiene)iridium(I) precursor as follows: initially heating the precursor to a first temperature in the range of 60 to 90 degrees C.; maintaining the first temperature in the transport line introducing the precursor; and mixing the precursor with a carrier gas; introducing oxygen as a precursor reaction gas; and, using a metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) process, growing IrOx hollow nanotubes from the substrate surface.

US Patent 7098056 - Nanotube Growth Using Dip Pen Nanolithography

Dip Pen Nanolithography is a lithography technique that employs ultrafine tips coated with a molecular film that can be used to draw patterns on a surface via a water meniscus formed between the tip and the surface. This patent proposes the use of this technology in patterning the catalytic material used to grow vertical arrays of nanotubes. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for producing carbon nanotubes, the method comprising: a) providing a substrate with a top surface, b) forming an island of catalyst material on the top surface using a tip having a patterning compound thereon, c) heating the substrate and catalyst island, and d) contacting the catalyst island with a carbon-containing gas for a period of time sufficient to form the nanotubes on the catalyst island.

Saturday, September 02, 2006 - Community Patent Review

I received a request via e-mail to post this in my blog. It looks interesting.

Announcing... - Community Patent Review! WikiPatents recently became the first and only web site to enable organized public comment on issued patents and, soon, pending patent applications. WikiPatents was developed to strengthen the U.S. patent system by providing increased visibility into the legal strength, technical merits, and market aspects of each patent through public comment. Through our combined support and participation, WikiPatents will become an indispensable resource to increase certainty for patent Examiners, law firms, future litigants, licensees, potential investors, inventors, and patent owners.

The WikiPatents Community was established largely in response to the USPTO's recent focus on improving patent quality. "The USPTO clearly has a responsibility to do everything it can to improve America's patent system. That is why we are undertaking this collaborative approach – putting forth quality and efficiency proposals for the patent community to give us feedback," said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property Jon Dudas. "Applicants and the public deserve certainty. This focus on quality of applications and closure of the examination process will provide more certainty. Everyone agrees that better quality input will result in a better quality end product." (See ) By adding and voting on overlooked prior art and submitting public comments on the merits of issued patents, the WikiPatents Community provides an invaluable resource to patent Examiners reviewing related pending applications.

Anyone can join the WikiPatents Community for free and voice concerns, praise, comments, and opinions on any issued patent. As a member, you can:

Add prior art, and vote and comment on its relevancy and implications
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WikiPatents has exciting plans beyond its initial "beta launch" to improve and expand the site into a thriving community of public commentary on patents and pending patent applications. Please support the site's launch by adding your comments to a patent of interest. More information about the is available by viewing the site's FAQs.