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Honor Cites Blue LED Creator’s Inventions, IP Protection Efforts

Photonics.com
Oct 2012
SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Oct. 10, 2012 — Shuji Nakamura was honored recently as the 2012 Inventor of the Year by the Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Law Association (SVIPLA) for his inventions, which include the blue LED, as well as his intellectual property protection efforts.

Nakamura is best known for his creation of the first group-III nitride-based bright-blue LED, which led to the development of white LEDs. He also developed group-III nitride-based violet and blue laser diodes. The energy-efficient technology has since been used in solid-state lighting, displays, in Blu-ray optical storage and in medicine. (See: First Nonpolar Violet VCSEL Reported, New Class of GaN-Based Laser Diode Created, and Efficient Semipolar Blue LEDs Created on Freestanding Substrate)

“He revolutionized LED technology, which has significantly changed the way we look at light,” said David Tsai, president of SVIPLA, in presenting the honor, which has been awarded annually since 1977. He added that Nakamura’s inventions have improved the quality of people’s lives with bright displays, energy-efficient lights and technology that sterilizes drinking water.

Nakamura, a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara since 2000, was recognized not only for his invention, but also for his efforts to protect the intellectual property. He has filed more than 700 patent applications and can claim at least 360 authorized invention patents, the association said.

”I have invented new technologies and also generated new IPs at the same time,” Nakamura said. “IPs are the key to protecting our new technology.”

Over the past 20 years, Nakamura has received about 40 awards for his innovations (See: LED Inventor Wins $1.3M Millennium Technology Prize). He is currently working on a green laser diode, and on nonpolar and semipolar gallium nitride LEDs.

For more information, visit: http://engineering.ucsb.edu


GLOSSARY
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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