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Nanotechnology – shorthand for the development of structures on the molecular and atomic levels – is the latest example of an area where the law is struggling to keep pace with research and development activities.
Nanotechnology already is used in some consumer products, and potential commercial applications of nanotechnology are being explored in the materials, cosmetics, life sciences, defense, electronics and information technology industries. The unique nature of nanotechnology raises a broad range of legal issues. Concerns about the risks and implications posed by nanotechnology may be reflected in lawsuits or regulations addressing workplace safety, environmental practices, real estate and zoning, and consumer products – among many other legal areas.
Because the range of legal issues related to nanotechnology is extensive, we have formed an interdisciplinary group of attorneys to help clients as they confront nanotechnology issues. Our lawyers have helped clients to understand, shape and comply with regulations, to protect their intellectual property, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets, to develop suitable workplace practice and procedures, to understand tax incentives that may be available to them and to mitigate risks through insurance or special contractual provisions. We represent clients in many industries engaged in nanotechnology, including manufacturers of food and drugs, chemicals, cosmetics, consumer products, energy and electronics; colleges and universities and public research laboratories.