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Mapping nanotechnology patents: The EPO approach


  • Scheu, M.
  • Veefkind, V.
  • Verbandt, Y.
  • Galan, E. Molina
  • Absalom, R.
  • Förster, W.


As a consequence of large public and private investments in new technologies at the nanoscale, an increase in the filing numbers of European and PCT patent applications related to nanotechnology is expected at the European Patent Office (EPO) in the coming years. A strategy has been devised to prepare the EPO for potential impacts this interdisciplinary emerging technology might have on workload per technical field, classification and search. A part of the strategy has been to create an internal working group on nanotechnology (NTWG) of patent examiners from different technical fields reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of this 'size' defined emerging field. First results of this NTWG are agreement within the EPO on a definition of nanotechnology and the creation of the corresponding tagging system Y01N which enables the monitoring of the evolution of patenting trends in this area of technology. The tags overcome the intrinsic difficulties in retrieving relevant patent publications from the huge amount of information contained in the EPO's patent databases. In addition it is expected that access to Y01N via esp@cenet terms will simplify prior art search of nanotechnology patents and will support strategic decision making for economists, investors or funding agencies in nanotechnology.

Suggested Citation

  • Scheu, M. & Veefkind, V. & Verbandt, Y. & Galan, E. Molina & Absalom, R. & Förster, W., 2006. "Mapping nanotechnology patents: The EPO approach," World Patent Information, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 204-211, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:worpat:v:28:y:2006:i:3:p:204-211

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. van Zeebroeck, Nicolas & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno & Guellec, Dominique, 2009. "Claiming more: the Increased Voluminosity of Patent Applications and its Determinants," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 1006-1020, July.
    2. Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie & Didier François, 2009. "The Cost Factor in Patent Systems," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 329-355, December.
    3. Archontopoulos, Eugenio & Guellec, Dominique & Stevnsborg, Niels & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno & van Zeebroeck, Nicolas, 2007. "When small is beautiful: Measuring the evolution and consequences of the voluminosity of patent applications at the EPO," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 103-132, June.
    4. Guellec, Dominique & Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno v., 2000. "Applications, grants and the value of patent," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 109-114, October.
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    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Heinze, Thomas & Kuhlmann, Stefan, 2008. "Across institutional boundaries?: Research collaboration in German public sector nanoscience," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 888-899, June.
    2. Can Huang & Ad Notten & Nico Rasters, 2011. "Nanoscience and technology publications and patents: a review of social science studies and search strategies," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 145-172, April.
    3. Cottier, Thomas & Jost, Dannie, 2012. "Broad Concerns about Nanotechnology Patents: Symptoms and Diagnosis," Papers 408, World Trade Institute.
    4. repec:spr:scient:v:112:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-017-2449-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Munari, Federico & Toschi, Laura, 2014. "Running ahead in the nanotechnology gold rush. Strategic patenting in emerging technologies," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 194-207.
    6. repec:spr:scient:v:70:y:2007:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-007-0310-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Ozcan, Sercan & Islam, Nazrul, 2014. "Collaborative networks and technology clusters — The case of nanowire," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 115-131.
    8. repec:spr:scient:v:77:y:2008:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-007-1973-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Loet Leydesdorff & Lutz Bornmann, 2012. "Mapping (USPTO) patent data using overlays to Google Maps," Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 63(7), pages 1442-1458, July.
    10. Huang, Can & Wu, Yilin, 2012. "State-led Technological Development: A Case of China’s Nanotechnology Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 970-982.
    11. repec:spr:scient:v:111:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-017-2325-y is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:spr:scient:v:76:y:2008:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-007-1889-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Alessandra Colombelli & Jackie Krafft & Francesco Quatraro, 2012. "The emergence of new technology-based sectors at the regional level: a proximity-based analysis of nanotechnology," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1211, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Jun 2012.
    14. Colombelli, Alessandra & Krafft, Jackie & Quatraro, Francesco, 2014. "The emergence of new technology-based sectors in European regions: A proximity-based analysis of nanotechnology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(10), pages 1681-1696.
    15. repec:spr:scient:v:78:y:2009:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-008-1830-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. repec:spr:scient:v:70:y:2007:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-007-0308-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. repec:spr:scient:v:102:y:2015:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-014-1447-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. repec:spr:scient:v:101:y:2014:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-014-1244-4 is not listed on IDEAS


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