n Lesotho Law Journal - Patentability of nanotechnology inventions : does it mark a shift in patent law's normative orientation?

Volume 20, Issue 1_2
  • ISSN : 0255-6472



It is commonly believed that small sizes do not matter, but in the field of nanotechnology, the smallest size of matter is all that matters. Nanotechnology "refers to a set of techniques used to manipulate," image, measure, and model matter at "dimensions [roughly] between... 1 and 100 nano-meters." These dimensions are otherwise known as nano-scale. At this length scale, the physical, chemical and biological properties of matter such as conductivity, magnetism, elasticity, reactivity, quantum mechanics, melting temperature and colour may change in unusual and unexpected ways. This unique phenomenon enables nanotechnologists to understand and control matter at the nano-scale and to play around with nano-sized materials. They may use these materials as the building blocks of various devices, structures, products and systems with new properties and functions. Some nano-materials have direct applications.

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