The nanotechnology patent thicket revisited

Raphael Zingg*, Marius Fischer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Despite all predictions and promises, nanotechnology still seems to be more of an emerging science than a fully fledged revolution. More often than not, the patent system is blamed for this, supposedly tangling up nanotechnology in an impenetrable thicket of exclusionary rights instead of setting it free. Drawing on methods of complex network analysis, we provide empirical evidence suggesting that, at least in Europe, there is actually no patent thicket present in nanotechnology. Yet, the situation appears to be different in the USA.

Original languageEnglish
Article number267
JournalJournal of Nanoparticle Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Oct 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Citation networks
  • Law and innovation
  • Nanotechnology
  • Patent analysis
  • Technology transfer
  • Thickets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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