According to StatNano, a total of 13,046 published patent applications related to nanotechnology were filed at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the European Patent Office (EPO) in 2018.

The EPO defines nanotechnology as an entity with one or more components measuring less than 100 nanometres in at least one dimension and which is “susceptible of making physical, chemical or biological effects available which are intrinsic to that size”.

Nanoscience and nanotechnology are the study and application of extremely small things; they can be used across all the other science fields and is currently impacting the following industries.

Within the health care sector, nanoscale diagnostic tools can be used to treat patients at the cellular level, whereas, nanomedicine is at the forefront of advances in the detection and treatment of cancer and heart disease.

Another industry that has benefited from nanotechnology is the electronics industry, microscopic electronic components allow for the development of more powerful and more compact hardware.

Currently, in the aerospace sector, nanomaterials can be used to create lighter, stronger and thinner materials for use in aircraft and spacecraft.

And finally, in the conservation industry, nanotechnology may advance the production and efficiency of solar energy panels and other alternative energies.

Researchers are also experimenting with metal nanoparticles to make water potable in rural and underdeveloped parts of the world. Nanoparticles are also being used in concrete to convert the nitrogen oxides into less harmful nitrates.

According to the statistical analysis conducted by Orbit Databank, of all nanotechnology patents in the USPTO, the United States rank first, by having a share of around 51.7 per cent.

South Korea and Japan rank second and third, with 11.4 per cent and 8.0 per cent respectively.

Additional research found that from 1991 to 2008, the United States ranked number one in publishing the highest number of patents applications (19,665), followed closely by the People’s Republic of China (18,438) and then Japan (10,763).

To view the full table of countries and how many patent applications they have had approved, please click here.

Nanotechnology has the potential to be one of the defining technologies of the 21 century, with the scope to transform a wide range of sectors.

If you would like specialist advice on how to secure effective protection against un-authorised copying for nanotechnology innovations, please contact our experts today.


Fraser Brown

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