The Spirit of Innovation is Alive and Well

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By Laurie Riedman, a Xerox contributor
The spirit of Xerox innovation that got kick started 75 years when Chester Carlson invented the xerographic process in that cramped  makeshift laboratory in Astoria, Queens is alive and well. Last week, over 300 inventors came together in Rochester, N.Y. to celebrate those light bulb moments and the resulting patents awarded to the engineers and scientists who are continuing Chester Carlson’s legacy of innovation.
 
While Carlson’s invention of “xerography” certainly launched Xerox and revolutionized how information is shared and, ultimately, how office work gets done –our inventors are still hard at work today simplifying how work gets done in 160 countries and through the support of 140,000 Xerox people. 
 
Held at the home of another famous inventor – George Eastman at the International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester– the celebration was co-hosted by Sophie Vandebroek, chief technology officer and president of the Xerox Innovation Group and Russell Peacock, president Global Technology & Delivery Group, Global Imaging Systems & Xerox Canada. 
 
Vandebroek cited proof that Chester’s spirit of innovation is alive at the company’s research centers across the world.  Since Xerox started filing patents in the 1930’s – the company has obtained well over 61,000 patents in a large number of countries and as of January 1, Xerox had more than 11,500 active U.S. patents.  To date in 2013, the patent office has granted Xerox 1,059 new U.S. patents (with joint venture partner Fuji-Xerox the number would be over 1,600 U.S. patents).
 
The ceremony celebrated the amazing ideas coming out of local scientists and engineers from New York – many from the Xerox Research Centre Webster (XRCW) – Xerox’s largest research facility.  In fact, 91 of the 371 patent-winning inventors located in the Rochester area have accumulated more than 50 patents. 
 
Barry Mandel was honored with the Eagle Award, which recognizes his achievement over the years in capturing more than 100 patents. 
 
Ten of the top creative minds at Xerox were also honored with the Anne Mulcahy Inventor Award. Named in honor of the Xerox retired chairman and chief executive officer, the awards is designed to shine the spotlight on inventors throughout the company whose patents are of high business value to Xerox.
  • Jin Wu is one of the company’s more prolific inventors currently holding 303 patents.  He credits his success to paying attention to fellow scientists and continuing to build new ideas off the current state of scientific advancement.
  • David Gervasi manages fusing technology and currently holds 70 patents and has been involved in a wide range of projects which have resulted in new technologies and materials that improve print quality for a variety of printing systems. 
  • Jason Tsongas is a senior systems analyst in the Xerox Information Management group  and has produced 50  invention disclosure submissions between 2010 and 2013, 15 of which were identified as patentable. Four of Jason’s patents have issued and 11 more are pending.
  • Jim Spence is a lead mechanical systems architect who has been instrumental in the architecture and design of a number of Xerox key technologies including iGen, Nuvera and CiPress Product families.  He has 29 patents awarded to date and many more in the queue.
  • Mike Jones is a principal engineer and design manager in the solid ink product development group.  He has been with Xerox for 21 years and has been granted 20 patents.
  • Francis Tse is manager of Advanced Technology and is a prolific inventor being awarded 10 patents in 2012 alone.  His inventions ranged from color imaging, cost reduced image path, image storage and retrieval, and document information security.
  • Alvaro Gil joined Xerox Research Center Webster in 2005. and holds 35 patents, 13 of which he received in 2012. His research in color printing systems has led to state-of-the-art color print output that contributed to the success of the iGen product
  • Martin Maltz y joined Xerox 45 years ago and is one of the world’s leading experts in understanding the relationship between xerographic physics and image quality. Maltz earned eight patents in 2012, and was honored this year for reaching his 50th patent milestone.
  • Sudhendu Rai, a Xerox research fellow, is the lead inventor of the Xerox Lean Document Production (LDP) solution, a simulation based methodology for optimizing print shops. In both 2012 and 2013 he earned 13 patents, bringing the total number to 53. He currently has 33 patent filings under review. 
  • Steve Harrington, a Xerox Fellow who leads the Technology Assessment Office (TAP) will retire at the end of this month after a 32 year career at Xerox.   He has received  over 156 issued patents in a variety of areas related to digital imaging, color, document engineering and most recently services. 
Congrats to all these inventors who make innovation look effortless.  When I ask how they do it they simply say they don’t seek to invent – but simply to solve a problem.  Even Chester Carlson attributes his invention to problem solving.  When asked to describe how he came up with the idea of xerography he said, “With the problem so sharply defined, the solution came almost as an intuitive flash."

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