Commentary on the Nanotechnology Patent Graphs

Graph 1 shows that USA represents about 40% of the Nano publications over the period, while Europe is second at about 24% followed closely by Japan with about 22%. China is considerably further behind at about 13%.

Graph 2/Graph2A shows a curiosity, namely a large number of filings apparently in the name of a Chinese individual, M. Yang; they are directed to Chinese herbal medications incorporating nano-scale ingredients, filed over a period of a couple of months. These filings are greater in number, by a factor of five, than that of Hitachi over a period of 10 years.
Excluding M. Yang’s filings, six Japanese companies or organisations predominate the “Top Ten” with there also being three US companies or organisations and only one European company being represented.

Graph 3 shows that USA has consistently increased its patent publications throughout the period, the increase starting slowly but becoming more exponential from 1998 onwards.
Japan has fluctuated erratically from year to year, some years actually reducing, and only consistently increasing after 1998.
Europe actually decreased in 1995, but thereafter has reflected the increases as in USA, except for a slowdown in 2001.
South Korea and China had very small figures in the first years of the period, and have only had significant amounts in the last few years, now showing appreciable increases (for the moment ignoring the Yang figures).

Graph 4 shows an increase in SPMs over the period, while AFMs peaked in 1996, then declined and resurged in 2002 (perhaps a sign of a mature technology). SEMs have increased consistently over the period except for a plateau region in the middle of the period.

In Graph 5, Japan has been the predominant country over the whole period, though its absolute figures have fluctuated from year to year. USA has consistently increased from a low base at the start of the period, to a comparable figure to that of Japan.
South Korea started with negligible figures and remains minor. Europe has consistently had a small presence in this technology.

In Graph 6, Nanoparticles, Nanotubes and Quantum Dots have consistently shown increases over the period; so too have Dendrimers except for 1999 which showed little increase. Colloids fluctuated over the period, with an all-time low in 1998.

Graph 7 shows that USA has predominance in Nanoparticles with about 53%, followed by Europe with 30%, and then China with about 8%, the reminder having insignificant presence.

Graph 8 shows that USA has about 40% of Nanotube publications, followed by Japan with about 25%, South Korea at about 17% and Europe at about 11%.

In Graph 9, Japan has over 51% with USA following far behind on 20% and Europe with 11%, there being no other significant individual territories.