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The Two Faces of Patent Due Diligence: A Case Study in Solar Cells and Nanotechnology
Volume 6, Issue 1

M. Henry Heines, Townsend and Townsend and Crew LLP

The introduction of nanotechnology and other technical disciplines to the solar cell industry is spawning intense competition and a fertile patent landscape. Patent due diligence studies are critical to determining whether a company can face the competition and establish a market foothold with the patented technology. The two fundamental inquiries of patent due diligence are patentability and freedom to operate. A recently issued patent on solar cell technology that combines a number of features including specialized materials such as carbon nanotubes and CIGS, demonstrates the independent nature and interplay between these two inquiries.

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