Industrial research and development teams around the world have been discussing the litany of innovations that could come from commercialized application of graphene. This week, a team of British patent researchers came forward to discuss several indicators which suggest that a global race to harness the full potential of the unique material could be in the offing.
Since its discovery in 2004, graphene has consistently intrigued scientists with its unique properties. According to Red Orbit, the material is harder than a diamond, more flexible than rubber and only a single molecule thick. Potential applications for flexible touchscreens, in-wall lighting and enhanced batteries are already in their formative stages.
With such massive scientific and commercial potential, innovators will want to ensure a place on the ground floor with the help of intelligent intellectual property management. According to the news source, researchers have confirmed more than 7,300 graphene-related patent applications filed around the world.
Chinese and U.S. entities hold claim to the majority of these applications, according to BBC News, and by a wide margin. This is particularly interesting considering graphene was first discovered in the U.K. at the University of Manchester. Science Minister David Willetts candidly suggested that the graphene case could become another unfortunate example of "Britain inventing something and other countries developing it" if domestic entrepreneurs cannot pick up their pace.