To paint the landscape of nanotechnology intellectual property, we reviewed U.S. patents relating to five nanomaterial platforms on a claim-by-claim basis, totaling 1,084 patents and 19,485 claims. Patents on dendrimers look the most numerous and the most likely to overlap, causing legal wrangles. Nanowires lie at the other extreme, with a small universe of patents that appear unentangled with one another. Quantum dots, carbon nanotubes, and fullerenes fall in between.
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