Feds launch nano classification project

November 3, 2004 – The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has created its own registration category for nanotechnology, covering applied research and technology development requiring 100nm or below and at least one dimension.

The multiphase classification project (Class 977, Nanotechnology) includes a cross-reference digest, which ultimately will be comprised of definitions, subclasses, and search relations to other classifications.

The feds recognize it won’t be easy to grasp the wide and often confusing realm of nanotechnology, such as how to differentiate patents for a “carbon nanotube,” “carbonaceous cylinder,” or “elongated cylinder made from carbon” that target different applications in industries ranging from semiconductors to medicine. Not to mention that “people looking for venture capital money will call anything small ‘nanotechnology,'” said Bruce Kisliuk, coordinator of the USPTO’s nano project, quoted by the New York Times.


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