Nanotechnology researchers and developers turn to Womble Carlyle’s Nanotechnology Team for the interdisciplinary scientific and legal acumen to solve patent and other IP challenges. Our team also helps nanotech clients with business development issues, including raising capital, meeting regulatory standards and defending litigation.
Our clients include universities, research facilities, start-up ventures and established businesses in such fields as pharmaceuticals, life sciences, petroleum, electronics, computer software and air & space technology.
Establishing & Defending Intellectual Property
Perhaps the biggest legal need in the nanotech field is for patent and intellectual property protection. Companies turn to Womble Carlyle’s interdisciplinary team of patent, trademark and copyright attorneys for guidance in applying for and prosecuting nanotech patents, establishing trademarks and copyrights, protecting trade secrets and, when necessary, defending intellectual property in litigation.
Team members have industry and research backgrounds in:
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical Engineering
One of our most recent projects involves preparing and filing multiple US and international patent applications for a leading aerospace manufacturer on use of carbon nanotubes in complex composite structures. These applications, combined with an intensive state of the art search, positions the company well as commercial applications continue to evolve.
In addition, we counsel clients on patent perpetuation—steps companies can take to extend the practical life of patents.
We also work with companies to make nanotechnology patents distinguishable from knock-offs, helping strengthen defenses against patent infringement.
Developing Nanotechnology Businesses
In addition to securing intellectual property, Womble Carlyle’s Nanotechnology Team also works with companies and entrepreneurs to take their advances into the market, including helping businesses secure capital.
This need is likely to explode as nanotechnology becomes more commercially viable. Nanotechnology is still at its nascent stage, but scientists project that within the next 5 to 10 years, there will be many more practical, consumer uses for nanotech, meaning companies and researchers will be fighting to establish patents and bring them to the market.
In addition, the expected growth in nanotechnology likely will mean closer supervision by lawmakers. We guide businesses through state and federal regulatory compliance. With an office in Washington, D.C., and a strong Federal and State Government Affairs practice, we can help ensure that concerns are heard in the decision-making process.
We also help companies maximize the tax benefits of research. Federal and state tax incentives often are available for cutting-edge nanotech research and our team can assist in securing those assets.
Reducing Litigation Exposure
As in any emerging field, the science of nanotechnology often outpaces the law. Actions that seem perfectly reasonable today may trigger lawsuits years or even decades down the road—the asbestos industry is the textbook case study on what to do and what not to do.
The good news is that, with proper guidance, nanotechnology companies can learn from the asbestos example and take cost-effective steps to prevent future mass tort litigation. At Womble Carlyle, we access our experience managing and litigating large multidistrict litigation (MDL) asbestos cases for national companies to advise nanotechnology businesses on preventative measure, such as warnings, documentation and testing procedures.