While nanotechnology deals with science, engineering and technology on an extremely small scale, the industry’s growth potential is enormous. More than 1,000 companies worldwide were active in nanotechnology research in 2010. The global nanotechnology market should reach $90.5 billion by 2021 from $39.2 billion in 2016.*

The rapid development of new nanotechnologies creates a highly unique set of marketplace challenges for manufacturers, regulators and the public. Industries using nanomaterials include information technology, medicine, energy, food safety, consumer products and environmental science. Utilizing a team-based approach, Phillips Lytle’s Nanotechnology attorneys are poised to assist clients – from start-ups to FORTUNE 500 companies – with bringing their products to market, identifying and quantifying risks, and maintaining compliance with applicable laws and regulations in this ever-evolving field.

As nanoscale materials become more prevalent in the marketplace, manufacturers and others will need a better understanding of the risks and returns associated with nanoscale products. From clean, affordable energy to stronger, lighter and more durable materials to medical devices and drugs that detect and treat diseases more effectively, nanotechnology is improving lives and contributing to economic growth. Phillips Lytle’s team of Nanotechnology attorneys is positioned to address the many legal and regulatory implications of this field.

*Source: BCC Research, January 17, 2017


As with any new and emerging technology, regulations governing the manufacture and use of nanoscale materials will likely be evolving for many years to come. Our Nanotechnology Team – and the clients we serve – has been involved in the structuring of regulatory and risk management programs which are now in place across the industry. We can help our clients comply with regulatory programs in both the short- and long-term, and implement product development and stewardship approaches to mitigate risk.


Products liability and intellectual property issues weigh heavily on the minds of nanoscale materials manufacturers. They require sound preventive counsel and vigorous legal defense when issues arise.

Our attorneys have engineering and technology expertise which allows us to see these products from a unique perspective. We are able to assess the risk of liability during the design phase, before the product even enters the market. We are also able to make significant contributions when working with risk management and engineering and design teams to identify potential implications with nanoscale products. Our attorneys’ engineering backgrounds enable us to quickly understand the technical aspects that underlie the legal issues.

This cross-disciplinary group consists of attorneys from practices including Products Liability, Commercial Litigation, Class Action, Intellectual Property, Corporate and Securities.


Phillips Lytle has been protecting clients’ assets and helping maximize their value for more than 185 years. For most of that time, assets were tangible – such as land, buildings, supplies and equipment. In nanoscience, some of our clients’ most valuable assets are chemical formulations or research. Protecting these intangibles from illegal use is much more difficult, as intellectual property can be stolen or copied without anything physically taken.

Our Intellectual Property attorneys vigilantly protect our clients’ domestic and foreign patents, trademarks, and copyrighted materials against unfair competition, unlicensed use, and theft. They have extensive experience prosecuting domestic patent applications in virtually every technical discipline including chemical, mechanical and electrical cases. In addition, they regularly file and prosecute foreign patent applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and European Patent Convention (EPC). As a result, they have developed strong working relationships with 191 international law firms in 79 countries. They also file and process domestic and foreign trademark applications. This allows us to economically and efficiently obtain patent and trademark protection for our clients worldwide, while maintaining the ability to personally monitor and provide critical information and counsel on pending foreign matters without extensive travel outside the United States. The attorneys at Phillips Lytle also regularly conduct intellectual property audits, and render validity and infringement opinions.


Ingenuity needs money to flourish. At Phillips Lytle, we’ve been bringing entrepreneurs and investors together for more than 185 years – working with bankers, investors and business people since before the days of Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison. We’ve grown alongside the technologies that have revolutionized the world and brought great wealth to the entrepreneurs who harnessed them, as well as the investors whose capital enabled those technologies to be brought to market.

Today’s opportunities lie in nanomaterials, genes, chips, atoms, alternative energy, green initiatives and other new technologies and business models. Phillips Lytle works with startups, emerging growth companies, venture capital and private equity funds, educational institutions and corporate research departments. We bring these groups together through a practical, cost-effective approach that makes good business sense for all parties involved. Our attorneys ease the tension between entrepreneurs who want to protect their ventures and stakeholders who want to protect their investments by designing agreements that strike a balance between control and security.

Our Venture Capital Practice Team is comprised of multi-disciplinary attorneys who provide expertise in intellectual property, licensing, sales, distribution and other commercial arrangements; employment and executive compensation; credit arrangements; and mergers and acquisitions.

Practice Area Icon: Nanotechnology