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Inventors of The Year

Each year SVIPLA honors a member of the intellectual property community.  Below are recipients of SVIPLA's Inventor of the Year Award since 1977.

1977 - Otto Voegli, IBM, Magnetic bubble memory technology
1978 - Robert N. Noyce, Fairchild, Integrated circuit technology
1979 - Samuel B. MacFarlane and Gerlad L. Pressman, ElectroPrint, Inc., Electrostatic plain paper printing
1980 - Felix Theeuwes, Alza Corp., osmotic therapeutic drug delivery systems
1981 - Herbert W. Boyer and Stanley N. Cohen, Stanford University, Basic gene splicing methods
1982 - Douglas L. Peltzer, Fairchild, Isoplanar process for bipolar integrated circuits
1983 - Theodore Hoff, IBM, Integrated circuit technology
1984 - William A. Goddard and John J. Lynott, IBM, Information storage disc technology
1985 - John H. Fried and Ian T. Harrison, Syntex, Naproxen
1986 - Charles P. Ginsburg, Ampex, Magnetic tape television recording
1987 - Edwin F. Ullman, SYVA Company, Immunoassay technology
1988 - John M. Chowning, Stanford University, Musical synthesis using FM modulation techniques
1989 - Albert Macovski, Stanford University, Medical video imaging technology
1990 - Jerome Drexler, Drexler Technology Corp., “LaserCard” optical data storage for memory cards
1991 - Weston A. Anderson, Varian Associates, Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy
1992 - Kary Mullis, Cetus, Amplification of nucleic acid sequences by PCR Technology
1993 - John Crawford, Intel Corporation, 386 and 486 microprocessor development
- Julian P. Verheyden, Syntex, Discovery of ganciclovir for CMV retinitis
1995 - Alejandro Zaffaroni, Alza Corp., Conceptual innovation and cross-discipline research
1996 - Charles R. Trimble, Trimble Navigation, Inc., Automobile navigation systems
1997 - John Ryan, Macrovision, Anti-piracy technology
1998 - Erik Engelson, Target Therapeutics, Inc., Medical device technology
1999 - Mark Hamburg, Adobe, Imaging algorithm
2000 - Armand Neukermans, Xros, Inc., All optical, photonic, fiber optic switch
2001 - Bala Manian, Founder of numerous biotechnology and instrumentation companies, developer of the bar code, technology for movie special effects
2002 - Eric Anderson, Anderson Creations, Digital camera as a software device
2003 - Radia Perlman, Sun Microsystems Laboratories, 70 patents, named as one of the 20 most influential people in information technology by Data Communications Magazine in its 20th and 25th anniversary editions

2004 - Dr. Patrick S.L. Wong, Alza Corporation, invented and contributed to inventions of pioneering drug delivery systems for over-the-counter medications
2005 - Dr. Sehat Sutardja, Marvell Technology Group Ltd., changed the face of the magnetic disk storage area by pushing the technology envelope for high-speed read channel chips
2006 - Randolf Von Oepen, Abbott Vascular, inventions span many different technology areas, such as Delivery Systems, Catheter technology, Drug Eluting Stent technology and Stent designs and materials
2007 - Steven T. Kirsch, Propel Software Corporation, acclaimed as the inventor of the Optical Mouse, as a founder of Infoseek, and for many other contributions to the computer and Internet technologies
2008 - Craig Hampel, Rambus, Inc., inventor of patents in high speed memory and interface technology
2009 - Paul Alivisatos, Ph.D., Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, widely recognized for his contributions to the chemical synthesis and characterization of functional semiconducting nanocrystals, AKA quantum dots
2010 - Ronald W. Davis, Ph.D., Stanford Genome Technology Center, 29 issued U.S. patents relating to DNA sequencing, detection of particular DNA signatures, DNA fingerprinting

2011 - Shuji Nakamura, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, inventor of the first bright blue LED from gallium nitride and the blue laser, and recently developed bright green and white LEDs and the green diode laser, technology revolutionizing the lighting and semiconductor industries; inventor on over 200 patents
2012 - Stephen Quake, Stanford University School of Engineering, directly responsible for many new, large scale quantitative approaches in molecular biology and microbial ecology
2013 - Dr. Robert (“Bob”) Showen, ShotSpotter, founder and patent holder on its innovative ShotSpotter technology. With over three decades of acoustic and geophysics research experience, it was Dr. Showen’s initial vision of helping police curb gunfire and urban crime that caused him to conceive of ShotSpotter
2015 - Doctors Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields, inventors of Proactiv® Solution, hold several patents on absorption masks as well as design patents
2016 - Conor Madigan, Ph.D., Kateevasetting the display industry on a game-changing technology transition, Dr. Madigan is a pioneer in the manufacturing of new inkjet printing equipment solutions that enable the making of flexible and large-scale OLEDs
2017 - Lee-Lean Shu, Co-founder, GSI Technology, recognizing the rapid-evolving and unmet need for extremely high performance RAM in critical areas, Mr. Shu spearheaded GSI Technology’s pioneering development and creation of the broadest portfolio of “Very Fast” SRAM products now available in the field
2018 - Ms. Weiming Ren, ASML, best known as HMI's leading expert on e-beam single source and multibeam inspection used for detecting defects on silicon wafers, Ms. Ren holds more than 40 patents focusing on e-beam inspection, covering projection type, single-beam type, multi-column type and multi-beam type
2019 - Bernard Mont-Reynaud, Principal Scientist at SoundHound, Inc., a co-inventor on at least 22 granted patents, specializing in technology in music recognition, DSP, speech recognition, natural language processing, machine learning, and artificial intelligence
2020 - Robert Cousins, Co-Founder, NovaSolix, holds more than 20 patents in diverse areas such as data storage and security, high-frequency radar, imaging and medical instrumentation, filesystem design, solar energy, and virtual credit cards.

2021 - Dr. Catherine Graves, Principal Research Scientist at Hewlett Packard Labs, for her joint invention of an analog content addressable memory (aCAM), which makes the state-of-the-art machine learning techniques feasible in real-world scenarios.

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