Tag Archives: Cleantech

Foley & Lardner LLP Launches Legal Innovation Hub for NextGen Manufacturers

Our firm recently launched its Legal Innovation HubSM for NextGen Manufacturers, a major firm-wide initiative to provide access to customized service for companies operating in this area. Nanotechnology is a major contributor to the next-generation manufacturing revolution. The bottom-up approach of assembling products molecule by molecule has fueled fundamentally new ways of manufacturing such as 3-D printing and biomimetic techniques (see last week’s … Continue reading this entry

Critical Materials a Post-Election Priority for Obama Administration, OSTP

The OSTP has provided updated information noting two efforts by the Obama administration related to materials. This includes the older Materials Genome Initiative and the newer Critical Materials Initiative (a Department of Energy program). Other efforts from the Obama administration in connecting technology and economic policy include the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership. The Materials Genome Initiative is now about a … Continue reading this entry

A123's Latest Twist Into Business History: Wanxiang Buy Out, Minus Government Business

There is another update in the story of the nanotech/cleantech company A123, which recently declared bankruptcy. According to the Washington Post this weekend, “Wanxiang America, the U.S. arm of a Chinese automotive parts giant, won the bidding for a bankrupt Massachusetts-based lithium battery manufacturer that was once hailed as a cornerstone of President Obama’s quest for … Continue reading this entry

The Value of IP: Concern re: IP "Going to China" in A123 Bankruptcy

Media reports re A123 System’s bankruptcy confirm that A123′s intellectual property is an important part throughout the lifecycle of a struggling company. While Johnson Controls was an initial suitor for A123′s assets, the Wanxiang Group is also now inserting itself into the bankruptcy proceeding. However, concern is present that the IP could “go to China.” In any event, stay tuned. Emerging … Continue reading this entry

Recent U.S. Patents Granting for Treatment of Hydraulic Fracturing Waters

We continue to monitor patent literature for water and liquid treatment technologies related to hydraulic fracturing. This technology is especially important for western Pennsylvania, the center of the Marcellus Shale region. Yesterday, for example, I listened to a speech by Carnegie Mellon University’s president, which stressed the importance of this technology.  CMU has a new energy center … Continue reading this entry

Carnegie Mellon University Breaks Ground for New Building to Include Nanotechnology, Biomedical Engineering, and Energy Innovations

Congratulations to Carnegie Mellon University for breaking ground on a new energy/nanotech-related building last weekend, as they report on their university webpage: “Under sunny skies that were later punctuated with daytime pyrotechnics, the excitement was palpable as Carnegie Mellon University broke ground for Sherman and Joyce Bowie Scott Hall — future home to the university’s … Continue reading this entry

Venture Capital Investment in Advanced Materials? Need for Investment Breadth

Interesting recent article by Professor Josh Lerner on venture capital investing, including a reference to advanced materials (“The Narrowing Ambitions of Venture Capital,” September 6, 2012, Technology Review). Lerner presents a seemingly pessimistic view of the current venture capital world noting sub-themes of the limited scope of investment objectives, too many boom-and-bust cycles, and “mercurial” public markets.  (side note: … Continue reading this entry

Updates on Cleantech and Nanotech Venture Capital

The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) is participating in a statement responsive to the “No More Solyndras Act.”  The gist is to not “throw the baby out with the bathwater” in “fixing” the government programs that led to the Solyndra problems. NVCA also reports life sciences investing (biotech and medical devices) was down in Q2, … Continue reading this entry

Bottled Lightning: A Great Book on Nanotech, Cleantech, Batteries, and the Electric Car

Have been reading the 2011 book, Bottled Lightning, Superbatteries, Electric Cars, and the New Lithium Economy, by Seth Fletcher.  An excellent read for anyone interested in cleantech and nanotech commercialization.  The focus is on the lithium ion battery and its scientific, engineering,  and manufacturing history.  Also, its application to the electric car.  The need for high energy density … Continue reading this entry

USPTO Updates: Clean Tech & Customer Partnership Meeting, June 12, 2012

The USPTO is now announcing that its next clean tech customer partnership meeting will be held on June 12, 2012 at 1-5 p.m. at its Alexandria, VA campus (South Auditorium, Madison Building). Those who wish to attend can contact Jill Warden, 571-272-1267 (jillwarden@uspto.gov). This will be the second customer partnership meeting; the first was held in May … Continue reading this entry

Critical Trend: Nanotech Patenting Continues to Rise in 2012 Driving Commercialization (Potentially)

Today, a fresh crop of 102 nanotech class 977 patent publications were published at the US PTO.  The total now for 2012 is 1,249, which projects to the end of the year to be 3,608. If this continues through 2012, it will be another record year for publishing nanotech 977 patent applications. The numbers go up each year: … Continue reading this entry

Recent Hydraulic Fracturing Patenting Shows Connections With Cleantech and Nanotech

Hydraulic fracturing (HF) has become a substantial economic force and the subject of strong policy debate. HF has several connections to cleantech, including issues of water treatment and disposal. Recent patents related to water and cleantech include, for example, USP 8,119,007 to MIT, 8,110,115 to Ibex, and 8,105,488 to Anticline Disposal. U.S. Patents that refer to HF now grant … Continue reading this entry

President's Proposed Budget Provides 4.1% Increase for NNI: Energy Way Up; Defense Way Down

We have been reviewing the President’s budget proposals announced yesterday, February 13, 2012 (fiscal year 2013 President’s Budget). In particular, we are looking at impact on nanotech and cleantech. Some highlights: First, the NNI was given a 4.1% increase (NNI is National Nanotechnology Initiative). The total would rise to $1.8B. Second, within the NNI heavy cuts are … Continue reading this entry

Natural Gas, Cleantech, and 2012

Secretary of Energy Steven Chu visited Pittsburgh today to review energy, natural gas, and innovation. In his remarks, he spoke of using shale natural gas as a balancing tool for wind and solar power. Chu also stressed the role of patents in innovation. I noted discussion today at a Nanobusiness Commercialization Association meeting re role of nanotech in shale … Continue reading this entry

Patent Reform Moving Ahead - Debates Continue, PTO Rules Emerging,... Price Outrage?

Two items of note today: 1) The US PTO today finally issued its proposed rules to implement its novel procedure called supplemental examination.  Bad news; and maybe outrage to follow.  They will charge a PTO fee of $5,180.00 “for processing and treating a request for supplemental examination.”  They will also charge a whopping fee of … Continue reading this entry

Innovation, Basic Research, Clean Energy - Obama's State of the Union Vision

President Obama delivered his state of the union address tonight. He hit many points of interest to those of us monitoring the high tech ecosystems: innovation, start-ups, basic research, federally-financed labs, universities, clean energy, etc. etc. Killing cancer cells but leave healthy ones, he said. Sounds like nanotech. Lightweight vests for cops and soldiers that can stop … Continue reading this entry

DOE Features Ames' Lead-Free Solder Patent and License Income

The Department of Energy (DOE) recently featured lead-free solder innovation and licensing from the Ames National Laboratory and Iowa State University. Apparently, $39M of licensing income has been received to date, which makes it now the highest royalty producing patent(s) at Ames. The lead-free compositions are based on tin, silver, and copper mixtures (alloys).  Preventing the introduction of … Continue reading this entry

Diamond, One Important Arrow in the 2012 Advanced Materials Arsenal, Patent Efforts Increasing

One subject to watch in 2012 is diamond. Synthetic diamond is one important arrow in the arsenal of advanced materials and is an essential part of the carbon based nanomaterials scene including familiar materials in the press such as fullerenes, carbon nanotubes, and graphene. Synthetic diamond films and powders, however, are also an important part of nanotechnology … Continue reading this entry

PTO to Terminate its Successful Greentech Patent Program in Favor of Track I (Curiously)

Some curious end-of-year activity for one government agency: the US PTO announced on December 15, 2011 through the Federal Register that it will extend – but also terminate – the Greentech accelerated examination program. The program was set to expire at the end of December but it will be extended to March 30, 2012. If, however, … Continue reading this entry

Thanksgiving Day's Bumper Crop of Nanotech 977 Patent Publications

While Thanksgiving this year was a holiday for most of us, filled with visiting relatives, turkey, and football, the US PTO quietly published a bumper crop of nanotech 977 patent applications on Thanksgiving Day – 62 to be precise! Some of my “favorites” include those with applications in cleantech and bionanotech. In addition, the intersection … Continue reading this entry

OLED Updates: "Dawning of an OLED era"?

Following OLED commercialization updates is becoming pretty interesting. See, for example, www.OLED-info.com. Some recent news featured there include, for example: Universal Display Corp. (UDC) recently reported its first profitable quarter. See, also, the UDC web page update. Samsung Electronics plans to launch flexible OLED panels next year (perhaps starting with mobile phones, followed by tablets and other … Continue reading this entry

What Will the US PTO Do with Its Greentech Patent Program?

The US PTO is running its greentech accelerated examination program through December 31, 2011, or until 3,000 grantable petitions are reached. The grantable petition number now stands at 2,518 based on current PTO statistics. The PTO also recently announced that it has granted 552 greentech patents, and that at least 116 of these went to General Electric. Indeed, GE obtained … Continue reading this entry

Staying Awake on Best Mode as Patent Reform Steams Ahead to Enactment

One of the central aspects of the recently passed patent reform in Congress is the elimination of the best mode defense by amendment to 35 USC Section 282.  However, Congress did not in parallel eliminate the best mode from the requirements of 35 USC Section 112.  In other words, the US PTO is still supposed to grant patents … Continue reading this entry

Patent Reform to Impact Cleantech/Nanotech: Historic Vote Today

The Senate – finally – will vote on patent reform today at 4 p.m.  President Obama – finally – will sign the legislation soon after.  The President’s speech on jobs is set for this evening, and patent reform may be mentioned in the speech.  However, no one quite knows with certainty what the impact will … Continue reading this entry