Black Box Jerry

Name used by some patent examiners at the USPTO to describe the late Jerry Lemelson, an individual who filed (and won) a wide variety of patents in a number of areas. Of particular importance are a number of patents in machine vision - filed long before the technology became practical (and delayed intentionally with numerous continuations until a practical implementation was developed by someone else - see SubmarinePatent).

For more info, see the following article which appeared in Fortune Magazine. This article is hosted at the website of Cognex, a leading manufacturer of machine vision systems, who is suing the Lemelson Foundation (which collects royalties on behalf of Lemelson's estate) to have the patents invalidated.

Update: Cognex won their lawsuit. Due to the doctrine of "prosecution laches" (referring to the excessive delay in prosecuting the application), the patents may not be enforced.

EditText of this page (last edited October 23, 2014) or FindPage with title or text search