Canon Empowers the Future as a Top U.S. Patent Recipient and Innovative Leader

Canon Rumors Full Frame Mirrorless Camera Canon Eos R

Canon Empowers the Future as a Top U.S. Patent Recipient and Innovative Leader

Company Also Rises to Secure Second Place in New Ultimate Patent Ownership Analysis

Press release:

MELVILLE, NY, January 15, 2019 – Ranking third in the number of U.S. patents awarded in 2018, Canon Inc., the parent company to Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, proves it continues to empower future leaders with new and innovative technology solutions. While overall number of U.S. patents awarded is down, according to results issued by the leading producer of global patent databases IFI CLAIMS Patent Services, Canon maintained its standing in the top five spots by being awarded a total of 3,056 patents in 2018. 

This marks the 33rd consecutive year that Canon ranked in the top five for number of U.S. patents awarded and the 14th consecutive year that Canon was the top recipient of U.S. patents among Japanese companies.

Additionally, and new this year to IFI’s patent analysis, Canon ranks second in Ultimate Patent Ownership. This separate analysis tabulates the world’s largest current patent holders, which includes parent companies and their subsidiaries. Unlike IFI’s annual Top U.S. Patent Recipients*, the broader ranking measures the size of a patent owner’s global portfolio based on the number of active patent families around the world covering a single invention. Canon secured the second spot, outranking IBM, with 34,905 active patent families.

“The secret to the success behind Canon is that it is always reinventing its approach to innovation, as evident through our continually high rankings in the IFI’s annual patent reports,” says Seymour Liebman, executive vice president, chief administrative officer, and general counsel, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “The IFI’s new patent analysis is further testament to that fact. We are proud of our strong standing among fellow tech giants and look forward to the future, as we continue to break molds and reimagine the impossible.”

This patent news also comes on the heels of Canon’s innovation showcase at CES 2019 where the Company joined forces with likeminded innovators in its booth to “Empower the Future” through its technology integrations in manufacturing, retail, sports, entertainment, and experiential marketing solutions.

For more information on Canon and its products, visit www.usa.canon.com.

Canon Patent For 24mm f/1 lens for APS-H With Focal Reducer

Focal Reducer

Edit: This was already part of the previous patent application.

Hi Lows Note spotted a Canon patent application for a 24mm f/1 lens and for a focal reducer.

Specification and lens arrangement of master lens 2 with reducer 5
Focal length: 23.92 mm
F number: 1.02
Half angle of view: 32.33 
Image height: 15.14 mm
Lens length: 125.59 mm
Back focus: 2.00 mm

Canon Patent Application For Speedbooster-like Focal Reducer

Focal Reducer

Hi Lows Note spotted a Canon patent application 2019-003074 that describes a focal reducer.

A focal reducer does the opposite of a teleconverter, reduces the focal length and increases the lens aperture. You likely know that from the Metabone Speedboosters.

Specification and lens arrangement of master lens 1 (18-55mm, F2.8)
Zoom ratio: 3.05
Focal length: 17.50 – 53.35 mm
F number: 2.80 – 2.80
Half angle of view: 36.65 – 13.71 
Image height: 13.02 – 13.02 mm
Lens length: 148.81 – 172.70 mm
Back focus: 35.51 – 40.31 mm

Specification and lens arrangement of master lens 1 with reducer 1
Focal length: 11.36 mm
F number: 1.82
Half angle of view: 36.67 
Image height: 8.46 mm
Lens length: 142.26 mm
Back focus: 2.00 mm

Specification and lens arrangement of master lens 2 (34mm, F1.4)
Focal length: 34.20 mm
F number: 1.45
Half angle of view: 32.32 
Image height: 21.64 mm
Lens length: 129.16 mm
Back focus: 39.35 mm

Specification and lens arrangement of master lens 2 with reducer 5
Focal length: 23.92 mm
F number: 1.02
Half angle of view: 32.33 
Image height: 15.14 mm
Lens length: 125.59 mm
Back focus: 2.00 mm

Canon Patent For RF 90mm f/2.8L IS Macro Lens (EOS R System)

Canon Patent

Hi Lows Note spotted a rather interesting Canon patent application (2017-108266).

The patent literature describes a 90mm f/2.8L IS macro lens for the Canon EOS R system. Two optical formulas are discussed in the patent literature.

Specification and lens arrangement of embodiment 1

  • Focal length: 97.00mm
  • F number: 2.92
  • Half angle of view: 12.57
  • Image height: 21.64mm
  • Lens length: 115.12mm
  • Back focus: 20.01mm

Specification and lens arrangement of embodiment 3

  • Focal length: 86.00mm
  • F number: 2.87
  • Half angle of view: 14.12
  • Image height: 21.64mm
  • Lens length: 115.07mm
  • Back focus: 15.93mm

Well, this is a patent application for a lens that may indeed hit the market (most patent applications never become a real product).

More Canon patent applications are listed here. Some particularly interesting patent applications we think might get into production in the next few years are these:

Canon Patent For RF 28-70mm F/2-2.8 For EOS R (with no image stabilisation, sign for IBIS?)

Canon Patent

Hi Lows Note spotted a Canon patent application (2018-197774) for an RF 28-70mm F/2-2.8 lens for the EOS R system.

  • Focal length: 28.68 – 67.90mm
  • F number: 2.26 – 2.91
  • Half angle of view: 37.03 – 17.67
  • Image height: 21.64 – 21.64mm
  • Lens length: 149.69 – 174.43mm
  • Back focus: 20.57 – 35.45mm

The interesting fact: the lens literature does not refer to an image stabilisation group inside the lens. Some people is saying this is a sign for IBIS (In Body Image Stabilisation) coming to future EOS R models (rumors already surfaced). We are not sure how to interpret this.

Canon always stated the superiority of image stabilisation in the lens. Never the less, Canon execs didn’t exclude the possibility of a future mirrorless camera with IBIS, and there are a few patents clearly discussing IBIS (patent 1 | 2 | 3).

Do you think this patent application is a clear sign of IBIS to be featured on future EOS R cameras?

Canon in an unusual move for the company already disclosed the the EOS R lens roadmap for the next years (also see this interview). The lens described in the patent application doesn’t seem to be on Canon’s immediate agenda. Keep in mind that patents are a way for companies to secure they research and development and hence their intellectual propriety. A patent application rarely means a product is coming to the market soon.

More Canon patent applications are listed here. Some particularly interesting patent applications we think might get into production in the next few years are these:

Canon Patent For Basic IBIS (In Body Image Stabilisation) Used To Correct Lens Eccentricity

Canon

What a neat coincidence. After a rumor about Canon featuring IBIS in future EOS R cameras, we can report a Canon patent application for a basic IBIS system spotted by Hi Lows Note.

The literature in patent application 2018-194766 seems to describe a basic IBIS system used to correct lens eccentricity. The image sensor can tilt in order to correct the lens eccentricity.

Machine translated excerpt:

[…] the optical instrument concerning the present invention, and its system, A camera device provided with the control means which carries out the tilt of the image sensor to an optic axis, It consists of a lens device provided with the detection means which detects the parameter to which the image formation performance of a lens is changed, The image sensor according to a parameter falls from the aforementioned lens device, information is transmited to the aforementioned camera device, and it is characterized by comprising the optical instrument which consists of the camera device in which the thing [ falling and carrying out the tilt of the image sensor to an optic axis based on information ] is possible, and its system.

As usual I’m glad for any help interpreting patent literature.

canon