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1546-2080 Online :: 1546-203X Print
The Patent Landscape for Electron Emitting Nanomaterials
Volume 4, Issue 3


Authors:
Blaise Mouttet, Landon IP

Abstract:
While nanotechnology is frequently defined in terms of materials involving structural features whose size is less than 100 nanometers it is the new or enhanced physical phenomena resulting from such size, rather than the size itself, which will be of most use to many commercialized products. One of these enhanced physical phenomena is the ease with which electrons can be extracted from carbon-based nanostructures. A variety of products employing such electron emitting nanostructures have been proposed for commercialization, including field emission displays for use in flat panel TVs. The early commercialization of field emission displays suggests that legal conflicts may easily arise between companies possessing patents to the basic materials and more established companies attempting to commercialize those new materials (e.g. the Nano-Proprietary v. Canon lawsuit). The present article analyzes the current U.S. patent landscape of nanomaterials used in electron emission pertinent to various applications including flat panel displays, microwave amplifiers, lighting devices, sensors, digital printing, and lithography tools and examines the potential for additional conflict to arise as commercialization is further developed.

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