Chemistry is often termed the central science because its principles are essential to understanding a range of other scientific and technological endeavors, ranging from biology and medicine to materials science and engineering. Materials science builds on that basic chemistry to design novel materials that aid in advancing countless other industries. The team at Panitch Schwarze has knowledge not only of science and technology underlying chemistry and materials science, but also of the industry itself and the specific types of intellectual property issues and challenges that businesses in this industry face.
Industrial chemicals range from high volume commodity chemicals to high value specialty chemicals, such as inks, dyes, coatings, adhesives, catalysts, and high purity fine chemicals used in sectors such as electronics, pharmaceutical, and agrochemicals manufacturing. As new technologies are developed in all types of industries, novel chemical compounds and mixtures, and processes for efficiently producing them, often must be developed.
Novel chemical processes are also needed to allow for improvement in established industries, including by allowing for reduced energy consumption, reduced input cost, reduced waste products, improved safety, and improved purity. For example, process initiatives under the umbrella of “green chemistry” aim, when possible, to use renewable materials as feedstocks and more environmentally-friendly solvents. Such greener processes have been developed for applications ranging from the production of high-volume commodity polymers to high-value pharmaceuticals.
Biochemical engineering also offers opportunities for producing commodity and specialty chemicals, potentially in a more environmentally benign manner. Although fermentation has been used for millennia to produce various foodstuffs and was used in the middle of the last century to produce large quantities of penicillin, the ability to genetically engineer microorganisms has expanded the range of chemical products that can be efficiently produced through biological processes from an array of antibiotics to commodity bioplastics and biofuels.
Advances in the related, interdisciplinary field of materials science are also necessary for meeting society’s needs. Lighter and stronger materials are required to reduce energy consumption and improve performance in the numerous sectors, such as in aerospace and automotive applications. Advancements in the field of biomaterials allow for advancements in the medical sector, such as through improved implants and scaffolds in patients for treating injuries, disorders, and degenerative conditions. New electronic materials, such as semiconductors, are essential for continued improvements in computing performance, light emitting diodes for energy-efficient illumination, and photovoltaic cells for energy production. Coatings and composites allow for synergistically combining advantageous properties of multiple materials. The structuring of materials at the nanometer scale provides the opportunity for improvement of a wide range of materials. Advancements in the field of materials science makes all of this possible.
The team at Panitch Schwarze understands the needs and concerns of businesses in the Industrial Chemicals and Materials Science industry, and we assist clients in this industry with all aspects of their IP needs. We work with our clients to develop and implement effective IP strategies to reach their objectives. We conduct freedom to operate, patentability, and due diligence analyses to assist our clients in making decisions on research and development and IP strategy in view of competitor’s IP rights. When innovative aspects are identified, we are experienced in preparing patent applications for new chemical compounds and processes and materials for structural, biomedical, and electronic applications. We apply our legal and scientific knowledge and experience with our enthusiasm for new chemical technologies to effectively prosecute these applications to secure granted U.S. patents from the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office and, with our extensive network of foreign law firms, international patents. When necessary, we assist clients with challenges to the IP rights of others and the enforcement of the valuable IP rights they have secured through contested proceedings at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board and in United States federal courts. We handle all of these IP tasks while always keeping in mind the commercial, scientific, and legal factors that are unique to the Industrial Chemicals and Materials Science industry and each client’s particular needs and goals.
To learn more about how Panitch Schwarze intellectual property lawyers can help you, please contact us.