Patent #5164831

Digital AV WS

Back in 1988, when I wrote the patent for a method of creating thumbnails images from digital camera captures, I had no idea how far it would eventually reach.

In 1992, I got word that the patent Rich had encouraged me to write, had finally been approved. It was titled "Electronic Still Camera Providing Multi-Format Storage of Full and Reduced Resolution Images". Basically, this is the method images are previewed on the screen of your digital camera, or camera phone. When I wrote the patent, I was told I needed to have an engineer as a co-author, because technicians weren't allowed to write patents by themselves. So, I had to split the puny award with the engineer, even though I was the one dealing with all the lawyer's questions regarding the idea. It was not worth the effort, but Kodak made millions from other camera companies with that patent alone. From then on, I gave up on submitting patent ideas and let others run with any ideas I had. As long as it got done, it didn't matter to me who's name was on the patent, there was a bigger goal here for me.

After I left Kodak, I was asked to testify for a case challenging the patent, which Kodak eventually won. Today, the patent has expired, but it is used everywhere you capture a digital photo.

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