Home: Maucher Jenkins

Intellectual Property


Patents | Trade Marks | Designs

Nanotechnology Patent Attorneys and IP advisors

Our team of patent attorneys – with backgrounds in various disciplines – is dedicated to protecting innovations in nanotechnology. With our expert knowledge in a wide range of fields from semiconductor technology, material science and bio-nanotech through to nano-analysis, we can provide you with competent advice & support.

Trends in IP protection for nanotechnology


Nanotechnology presents an exciting frontier for innovation in a wide range of fields. Nanotechnology can encompass areas from nanoscale structures on chips in the IT industry and microscopic, controllable medical capsules (drug delivery) all the way through to smart, functional coatings.


The European Patent Office has distinguished the field with an award: European Inventor Award 


Nanotechnology is a diverse field, and it is therefore not easy to determine a single clear classification for innovations and inventions. For that reason, statistics and keyword searches alone are likely to reveal only a small percentage of the developments that currently exist in this market.


However, since 2011 there has been a steady annual rise in the number of patent applications with the prefix 'nano'. In 2019 and 2020 alone, the European Patent Office (EPO), published more than 15,000 patent applications in the nanotechnology field.



Published patent applications, EPO, 2010-2020 (2020 not yet completed).


These searches reflect the promising potential of individual types of nanotech:


Keyword EPO registrations published in 2019 and in 2020
Nanomaterial 3,799
Nanocomposite 2,884
Nanostructure 445
Nanoparticle 2,373
Nanowire 1,284
2D material 729
Graphene >10,000

















Specialised scientific literature deals with the protection of nanotechnology innovations and provides reports on IP protection strategies for these inventions. 


Nanotechnology breakthroughs, to date, have been assessed by leading science specialists as providing the impetus for the development of IP protection strategies and other interdisciplinary scientific fields.

- P. S. Weiss: How do we assess the impact of Nanoscience and nano technology?, ACS Nano 2021, 15, 1.


Reforms in the patenting system, and current case decisions in the European and American courts, are recognised as being directly relevant to the field of nanotechnology and are discussed with the aim of arriving at an optimised strategy for protection. For example, specific strategies for inventors have been published, strategies on how to exploit patents in combination with trade secrets.

- C. Fulda, D. Weber-Bruls, J. Werth: Nano is nano is nano or: nanotechnology - a European legal perspective, Nanotechnol. Rev. 2014, 3(4), 401.

- Y. Zhang, M. Sulfab, D. Fernandez: Intellectual property protection strategies for nanotechnology, Nanotechnol. Rev. 2013, 2(6), 725.

- C. H. Pham, R. S. Garsson: What nanotechnology inventors need to know about trade secrets and the prior use rights defense, Nanotechnol. Rev. 2014, 3(6), 597.


Innovation in nanotechnology


Richard Feynman confidently made the following statement in 1959:  “There is plenty of room at the bottom”. 


With these words he laid the foundation for nanotechnology as a field of research. Since then the success of nanotechnology has been promoted by many developments. In 2010, the Nobel Prize for physics was awarded to Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov for their discoveries relating to the nanomaterial graphene and in 2016 Ben Feringa received the Nobel Prize for chemistry in recognition of his research on molecular nanomachines.



Source: VDI-Technology Center, Future Technologies Division


Today, nanotechnology is a field at the forefront of inter-disciplinary, future-focused research. The widest range of disciplines can be found intersecting on the nanoscale. Fundamental and applied research is underway into nanostructures and nano-objects in 3D, 2D and 1D. The following are some of the areas of note:


  • Nanoparticles
  • Nanowires
  • 2D materials (e.g. graphene)
  • New nanomaterials
  • Thin films
  • Quantum dots
  • Polymers and macro-molecules
  • Self-organisation
  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Molecular films
  • DNA nanostructures
  • And much more besides.


The rapid pace of developments in nanotechnology innovations has promoted the development of various fields of application, such as:


  • Semi-conductor technology
  • Surface technology
  • Nano-analytics
  • Nano-lithography
  • Bio-nanotech
  • Nano-electronics
  • Nano-photonics
  • Nano-medicine
  • Nano-robotics
  • Sensor tech
  • Molecular nanotech
  • Catalysis 
  • Environmental tech
  • Food tech
  • And much more besides. 


We can help you protect your Nanotechnology innovations


Our patent attorneys can provide you with support on an individual basis, thanks to their inter-disciplinary expertise in chemistry, physics, material sciences, medtech and biotech. Depending on what kind of innovation you have achieved in nanotech, we will bring together a team of experts to provide you with comprehensive advice. We will work with you to identify the most promising concepts from your area of development, devise strategies to protect them and provide all necessary support from patent registration, via patent issuance through to licensing or implementation.


Maucher Jenkins offers a team of outstanding professionals who are not only recognised experts in intellectual property law but can also draw on many years’ experience in research and references including a range of scientific publications on topics relating to nano-lithography, nanoparticles, nano-analysis and bio-nanotechnology.


Below is a selection of some of our experts’ publications:


- Characterisation of the PS-PMMA interfaces in microphase-separated block copolymer thin films by analytical (S)TEM,

J. Bürger, V. Kunnathully, D. Kool, J. K. N. Lindner, K. Brassat, nanomaterials 10, 141 (19 pp) (2020)


- Nanoscale block copolymer self-assembly and microscale polymer film dewetting: Progress in understanding the role of interfacial energies in the formation of hierarchical nanostructures,

K. Brassat, J. K. N. Lindner, Special Issue: Bottom-up micro/nanostructures, Adv. mat. interfaces, 1901565 (2019)


- On the adsorption of DNA origami nanostructures in nanohole arrays,

K. Brassat*, S. Ramakrishnan*, J. Bürger, M. Hanke, M. Doostdar, J. K. N. Lindner, G. Grundmeier, A. Keller, Langmuir 34, 14757-14765 (2018).


- Easily accessible protein nanostructures via enzyme mediated addressing,

A. A. Rüdiger, K. Brassat, J. K. N. Lindner, W. Bremser, O. I. Strube, Langmuir 34, 4264 (2018).

- A Novel Lubricant Based on Covalent Functionalized Graphene Oxide Quantum Dots,

A. Wolk, M. Rosenthal, S. Neuhaus, K. Huber, K. Brassat, J. K. N. Lindner, R. Grothe, G. Grundmeier, W. Bremser, R. Wilhelm, Scientific reports 8, 5843 (2018).

- 2D switchable blue phase gratings manufactured by nanosphere lithography,

M. Wahle, K. Brassat, J. Ebel, J. Bürger, J. K. N. Lindner, H.-S. Kitzerow, Optics Express 25(19), 22608 (2017).

- Low-voltage DNTT-based thin-film transistors and inverters for flexible electronics,

T. Meyers, F. F. Vidor, K. Brassat, J. K. N. Lindner, U. Hilleringmann, Microelectronic Engineering 174, 35 (2017).

- 'Microfluidic conceived pH sensitive core-shell particles for dual drug delivery'. In: International Journal of Pharmaceutics. 478(1), pp. 78-87, ISSN 0378-5173,

Ikram Ullah Khan, Lukas Stolch, et al., 2015.

- 'Size-selected gold clusters on porous titania as the most "gold-efficient" heterogeneous catalysts'. In: Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. 16(22), pp. 11017-11023. ISSN 1463-9076,

Andreas Dollinger, Lukas Stolch, et al., 2014.


Contact us for help and advice:


Felix Rummler

Dr. Katharina Brassat

Lukas Stolch

Where would you like to go next?