Thursday, May 20, 2010

Eric Fossum Receives NYIPLA Inventor of the Year Award

Eric Fossum received the 2010 Inventor of the Year Award from the New York Intellectual Property Law Association (NYIPLA) for his extensive portfolio of patents related to CMOS active pixel image sensors and the so-called “camera on a chip technology” that is at the heart of technologies ranging from cell phone cameras to swallawable pill cameras.


  1. Congratulations to Dr.Fossum on this prestigious

  2. Albert TheuwissenMay 20, 2010 at 7:13 PM

    Great job ! What is left for Eric ?
    Next will be the Nobel Prize ???

  3. The first camera on a chip was the realization of Edumbourg University ... How his patent can be delivered in this case ?

  4. from Richard Foster, former omnivision employee (aka ovtfan)

    That's funny when you consider the fact that while he was talking about it, OVT was already shipping it. Fossum was and is nothing more than an empty bag of hot air. He never has really done anything and probably never will.
    All toot and no choo choo.

  5. That is really american style !

    When you watch a sport competition, even the guy fails badly, he can show an excitation as like he had produced the best game in the world ... it's really funny.

    What means exactly Camera on a chip ?

  6. @ "Fossum was and is nothing more than an empty bag of hot air. He never has really done anything and probably never will."

    I strongly disagree with this statement. Just look on his publication list to see how this is incorrect.

  7. I think that he maybe is a good manager.

  8. "from Richard Foster, former omnivision employee (aka ovtfan): That's funny when you consider the fact that while he was talking about it, OVT was already shipping it."

    Richard, sorry to rain on your parade, but Omnivision was founded in 1995, about the same time Business Week had a two-page article on our NASA/JPL/Caltech camera-on-a-chip work. I believe Omnivision initially sought to compete with VVL using passive pixels. The late Peter Denyer had some choice comments about OVT as I recall. Subsequently Omnivision and VVL both switch to an active pixel, and finally to an active pixel with intra pixel charge transfer.

    Another interesting fact - Omnivision finally licensed the Photobit technology in 2001.

  9. I only heard of Dick Foster in OVT before , where this Richard came from ?

  10. dick is a shortened version of richard

    my money says they are the same person

  11. extensive portfolio of patents?

    How many? Why lawyers always can not count?

  12. ImageSensorsWorld should just delete bash postings from Dicks and assholes that serve no technical purpose if this is really a professional blog. Maybe if they were deleted it would stop becoming a magnet for idiots that belong in Yahoo chat rooms.

  13. Hearty congratulations. Well done.
    Interested in looking at inspiring patent list..


  15. Initially I thought about deleting it, but the comment is just quoting the original somewhere else. Also, this time the original is not anonymous. So, I opted for adding my comments instead.

  16. Publications is not equal to patents. Why can't image sensor world provide correct facts?

  17. @ " Why can't image sensor world provide correct facts?"

    This is easy. Go to USPTO search for granted patents:

    and patent applications:

    and put a search query:

    in/eric and in/fossum

    I found 133 granted patents and 70 pending applications, some of them very recent. There should be an overlap between them, but you get the rough number.

  18. Albert TheuwissenMay 21, 2010 at 11:56 AM

    My goodness ... I was the one who informed ImageSensorWorld about the award that Eric received. I am deeply disappointed that people react on this message as they did. If someone has 133 granted patents + another 70 pending ones, it should be clear that they are not all of the same quality, but that holds also for someone who has only 3 patents on his/her name. I challenge everyone to get 100+ granted patents. Once you have them, you can call me and we will discuss their quality !
    Eric Fossum has done an outstanding job for the imaging community and this is again rewarded/highlighted by this award. Although I have to admit that sometimes I am also limited by his patents, but that is part of the game ...

  19. Thank you Albert and others for your kind comments.

    US Patents that are issued to me are listed and organized on my web site:
    Back in March I counted about 77 inventions for which patents were issued. The companies/univ. that own these patents have had several patents issue for the same invention but with changes in claims etc. It is part of the normal patent process and pretty much out of my control (except for Photobit days and Siimpel). Once you submit an invention report, it has a life of its own.

    About 40 of my more favorite publications are listed at:
    along with a couple of comments on each paper.

  20. It seems to me that most people reading this blog are image sensor technologists. We are a small part of the technology community. We also change jobs from time to time working for different companies, sometimes in different countries. Both old-timers and newcomers should stand together and support one another and skip silly allegiances to companies or even favorite imaging technologies. As I have said many times, we all stand on the shoulders of giants that have gone before us.

    I really appreciate ISW for this blog and comment-forum. It is a great volunteer activity and service to our community. But I agree that judicious editorial privilege should used to delete useless comments that have started appearing in many of the threads. It is a lot like erasing graffiti. The sooner it is erased, the better. I don't care if this particular thread stays intact. For 25 years I have been a lightning rod of sorts. This is nothing new. Heh, it was far worse at the 1993 IEEE Workshop on CCDs and Advanced Image Sensors when I tried to defend CMOS APS as a successor to CCDs. Now that was a rough, in-person, crowd!

  21. Eric, it appears that people reaching a certain level of recognition almost always attract a lot of critics denying their achievements. Something similar has happened with Boyle and Smith Nobel prize. So, I afraid you have no choice but accept this and live with it, just like Boyle and Smith do.

    On my part, I can delete these comments here, but they still remain published elsewhere.

  22. We have a great job: working on image sensors! People like Fossum, Theuwissen, El Gamal gave important contributions to this field. So guys if you have a fancy job in IS you should all thank them!!!

  23. Eric, Albert, I would like to show my paper at your conference next year in Japan but no deadlines for sending presentations on the website..Is the conference opened to everyone?

  24. I am not sure when the Call for Papers will be published but probably not for a while. We typically try to wait as long as possible so we get the latest work. Submission is open to all but the papers are selected by a technical program committee that for 2011 will be chaired by Prof. Shoji Kawahito.

    I expect that the publication of the Call for Papers for the 2011 IISW will be announced in this blog as well.

    As most people know, the conference registration is quite limited and with 70-80 papers being presented, plus 20 or so technical program committee and exec. committee members, there are only a limited number (typically 25-50)of spots open for non-speakers. These spots usually fill within two days of the registration being opened.

    We deliberately limit the attendance to keep the meeting relatively small. The best way to attend is to submit an interesting paper.

  25. What are the patents that OV licensed from JPL or Photobit please ???

    Thanks !

  26. You will have to ask OVT. I am pretty sure that the list is not public information, although OVT announced the license in their public annual report. Generally, companies license all relevant patents, issued, pending, and future, for some term.

  27. Thanks !

    What are the license financial conditions in the CIS field ?

    Thanks in advance !

  28. You will need to contact either Caltech's Office of Technology Transfer or Micron regarding JPL or Photobit patents. Caltech, at least, wants to license the technology. Most major players already have taken a license. Again, I do not know all the details.

  29. Mr. Fossum,
    can you say something about the approx. costs for participating in IISW2011? How much is the conference fee?


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