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January 20, 2015
Posted in News, Patents

Canon Among Top Five USA Patent Holder for 29 Consecutive Years


Canon Rumor

Canon press release:

Canon Ranks Among Top Five U.S. Patent Holders For 29th Consecutive Year

Company Reaches New Annual Record With More Than 4,000 Patents Granted in 2014

MELVILLE, N.Y., January 20, 2015 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is proud to announce that its parent company, Canon Inc., has ranked third for U.S. patent holders in 2014. According to patent results issued by IFI CLAIMS Patent Services, Canon was granted a total of 4,055 patents in 2014, a new record annual high for the Company. This is the 29th consecutive year that Canon Inc. has been ranked among the top five U.S. patent holders and for the 10th consecutive year, ranked first among Japanese companies for the number of U.S. patents granted.

“Canon’s commitment to innovation and growth has helped leverage Canon as a top leader in patents year after year,” said Seymour Liebman, executive vice president, chief administrative officer and general counsel, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “A key pillar to Canon’s business model is research and development, and these patents are used as the foundation to help us provide advanced products and solutions to our customers in new markets, while strengthening our existing technologies.”

Canon puts great emphasis on providing technology that is ever-changing. Through close cooperation between Canon’s technology and intellectual property divisions, the Company aims to improve its technological capabilities while further enhancing its intellectual property rights.

For more information on Canon and its products, please visit

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January 3, 2015
Posted in Patents

Canon Patent for Mixed Metal and Resin Mount (less weight, less abrasion)

Canon Patent

Egami (translated) spotted a patent for a DSLR mount made of metal and resin. The metal part is the “inner part” of the mount, the “resin part” the outer part. The advantages are lower weight and lower abrasion. Another advantage could consist in smoother mounting/unmounting of lenses, with less abrasion of the lens-side part of the mount, since high quality resin is more abrasion resistent than metal. Be aware that when talking about resins we are not talking about mere plastic.

  • Canon patent
    • Of bayonet mechanism mount
    • Mounting an inner peripheral portion of the body has a concave rail surfaces of metal
    • Mount the outer periphery of having a rail surface of the convex shape in the resin
    • That resin rail than the metal rail, I have a narrow width and high height

More from the machine translated patent description:

If a metallic material is used for the construction material of camera mount, the strength of mount will be secured, but if attachment and detachment of a taking lens (lens device) are repeated, a mount surface will be worn out and appearance grace will be spoiled by the abrasion. Wear becomes a cause, the slidability of a mount surface is deteriorated, attachment-and-detachment torque becomes high, and an operation feeling becomes less good. In order to secure the abrasion resistance of mount, and slidability, when a resin material is used as construction material of the whole mount, as compared with the case where a metallic material is used, strength is weak.


In order to compensate the characteristic of a metallic material and resin mutually, the mount which molded metal and resin integrally is proposed. The Patent[shows a] mount of composition of having the mount main part which constituted the mount surface from a synthetic resin excellent in abrasion resistance and a sliding feel, and a metal ring component for reinforcing this mount main part.

[via Egami]

December 22, 2014
Posted in Patents

Canon Patent For Star Tracking in Astrophotography


Egami (translated) spotted another patent filed by Canon.

The patent refers to a technique for the generation of sharp images without star trails when taking photos of the night sky with long exposures. The purpose is to generate an image where a landscape and a star are made bright and a track of the star is prevented from appearing when a star and landscape photograph is taken.

How does this work? A first detection process concerns the landscape in the test image, first detection data is produced. A second detection process detects the star from the test image in accordance with the first detection data and obtains second detection data. The exposure condition setting section obtains a first image by the imaging section with a first exposure condition which is set in accordance with the first detection data, controls the imaging section with a second exposure condition which is set in accordance with the second detection data, and obtains a second image. A first synthesis corrects a luminance value of the star to a prescribed luminance value in the second image data, and sets it to be a first synthesized image. A second synthesis synthesizes the first synthesized image and the first image, and generates a second synthesized image.

Canon patent

  • Low sensitivity, I will test taken at the proper exposure
  • Place the time, to test shooting with the same settings
  • From the difference of the two test images to detect a movement of the star, and also to calculate the proper exposure time from the mobile width
  • The production shot with appropriate exposure to the subject of non-star
  • The production shot with appropriate exposure to star
  • To obtain the final output image by synthesizing two images production

[via Egami]

December 16, 2014
Posted in Patents

Canon Patent for 20-100mm and 30-135mm Cine Lenses

Canon Patent

Canon committed to more Cine lenses. Egami (translated) spotted a patent for a CN-E 20-100mm f/4 and a CN-E 30-135mm f/3.5 lens.

Machine translated patent description:

Canon patent

  • Positive and negative positive and negative positive 5-group zoom
  • Inner zoom
  • Inner Focus (fourth group)
  • According to the invention, it is possible to appropriately define the refractive power arrangement and the lateral magnification of the zoom sharing ratio and the lens groups of zooming group, while reducing the size and weight and a high zoom ratio , it is possible to decrease the magnification ratio of a short-distance shooting is to achieve the image pickup apparatus having a zoom lens and it is suppressed.
December 9, 2014
Posted in Patents

Canon Patent For 70-400mm f/4.5-7.2 STM Lens For EOS M System


Another patent for an EF-M lens that could go to market sooner or later. The fact that Canon is filing patents for EF-M lenses is a sign they are still committed to the system.

Egami (translated) spotted the patent. It’s a 70-400mm f/4.5-7.2 STM telephoto lens for APS-C mirrorless cameras, in the Canon world that’s the EOS M system (rumored to see a new entry soon).

Such a telephoto lens would allow Canon to catch up with the competition. All major mirrorless system manufacturer have telephoto lenses with similar range in offering. However, note that the patent does not refer to image stabilisation on the lens. Could be pretty difficult to shot shake-free at full extension and while hand-holding the camera.

  • Patent Publication No. 2014-228734
    • Published 2014.12.8
    • Filing date 2013.5.23
  • Example 3
    • Zoom ratio 5.58
    • The focal length f = 69.59-251.52-388.00mm
    • Fno. 4.68-6.30-7.00
    • Half angle ω = 11.11-3.11-2.02 °
    • Image height 13.66mm
    • Overall length of the lens 155.01-227.97-240.02mm
    • BF 15.81-37.15-46.87mm
    • Inner focus

[via Egami]

December 5, 2014
Posted in Patents

Canon Patent for EF-S 9-18mm f/4.5-5.6 Lens


Egami (translated) spotted a patent filed by Canon for a 9-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM lens for APS-C cameras. The lens design looks similar to the recently announced EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM.

  • Patent Publication No. 2014-225002
    • Published 2014.12.4
    • Filing date 2013.4.25
  • Canon patent
    • 4-group configuration of negative positive and negative positive
    • Inner focus
    • And a plastic aspherical first lens group
    • [0013] According to the present invention, the change in imaging magnification upon focusing on less, high speed focusing is obtained zoom lens easy wide angle.
November 30, 2014
Posted in Patents

Canon Patent to Increase Dynamic Range of Sensor

Canon Patent

Egami (translated) spotted a patent filed by Canon for a new sensor technology that expands the dynamic range of the sensor with a thin polysilicon layer applied on top of the photodiode layer of a sensor.

As far as I understand the patent, the polysilicon layer’s thickness is not the same for all the underlaying photodiodes. This influences the sensitivity of the photodiodes through the transmittance of light, which is attenuated by the film according to its thickness. The result are pixels (=photodiodes) with different light sensitivity.

Looking at the image above, it seems that there is one pixel with a thicker layer for each pixel with a thinner layer. The layer thickness appears to act on the the exact area where the photodiode detects the incoming photons.

An interesting patent that points to a new sensor technology. Hard to say if this tech will show up soon, for instance in the again rumored high megapixel cameras expected for 2015.The technology described in the patent does not refer to a given class of sensors, nor to a sensor size. It’s a technology that could find its way in any future Canon sensor.

Canon sensors are often critiqued for having a dynamic range below the competition, and thus getting lower DxOMark scores for their sensors. It appears Canon is going to address the issue.

Machine translated patent description:

  • Patent Publication No. 2014-175553
    • Published 2014.9.22
    • Filing date 2013.3.11
  • Canon patent
    • Optical attenuation film is arranged by polysilicon over the photoelectric conversion portion
    • Transmittance of light depends on the optical attenuation film is its thickness, thickness varies depending on the pixel
    • Small pixel transmittance is, the opening area is small
    • RGB any of the color filter
    • Transmittance R <G <B

[via Egami]

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