Patents

This page contains a reverse chronological list of issued or publicly pending U.S. patents that I am the author or coauthor of. In nearly all cases the patents themselves are owned by the corporations that I was working for at the time. All issues of licensing or commercial use should be refereed to these entities. In fact by law in general I can’t respond to any inquires about the contents of these patents, other than to refer people to the corporate owner. You can get more information about these or any other issued or publicly pending U.S. patents at:

http://www.uspto.gov/

Why are there patents?

One can argue that patents should or shouldn’t exist, or that too many patents are issued that are trivial, or were covered by the prior art. But the commercial reality is that most large companies have dealt with the problem by generating lots of their own patents, and then using these as trading cards when they bump up against the intellectual property of other large companies. If you don’t like the system, write your congressman (in the U.S.); the U.S. congress is currently engaged in the largest overhaul of the U.S. patent system in 50 years, and the proposed legislation actually appears to be addressing some of the worst of the issues. But the bottom line if you work for a large corporation (or even a small one) is that as part of the standard terms of employment, you have to play the game their way, and write the same sort of patents as everyone else does when ordered to. I’ve tried to turn this to a positive; many companies never let their people publish academic papers about their technological innovations because the information is considered “trade secret”; by first writing up patents on my work I could turn around and then point out to the corporation that (if they intended to file internationally) the details of the patent will become public with 18 months or so, so why not take advantage and also get some good publicity out of some academic papers?

Why don’t I have an annotated list of my patents?

Um, on the advice of counsel, I can’t do that. The legal issue is that as the author or coauthor of these patents, anything I say directly about the contents of these patents might be used against the legal owner of the patent in some future legal case (even if they have to twist it out of context). However, in the projects section, I do have links to many of the patents associated with a particular commercial product or research project. Also, while the patents are still generally written in that nearly non-English dialect of “patentiese”, most of my patents have some amazingly readable sections. I was quite pleased that some academic papers have listed some of my patents as prior work references even when I never managed to get a paper published on the topic.

Why are only some people listed as inventors?

Like my papers, I am often the first or only named author. When other people are named coinventor, I included there names in the listings below. Unlike my papers, there are a number of cases where someone else was the driving force behind the invention, usually apparent by their name appearing ahead of mine on the inventors list. However in most cases a lot of other people may spend literally years of their lives implementing the stuff described in the patent, but their names do not appear on the patent. There are a number of legal rules on who must/must not be a named inventor on a patent, and unfortunately just implementing the details of  a product after an invention has already been made (even if the patent has not yet been filed) does not qualify. This does not mean that their work is not important, and I’ve tried to mention specific individuals and groups in the projects section (as well as in many case in the acknowledgments section of the related published papers).

The Patents

U.S. Patent No. 6,950,109: Multi-spectral color correction.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

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U.S. Patent No. 6,947,057: Rendering lines with sample weighting.
Authors: Nelson, Scott R.; Deering, Michael F.; Ramani, Nandini; Tian, Mark; Shehane, Patrick; Tang, Kevin.

U.S. Patent No.6,943,791: Z-slope test to optimize sample throughput.
Authors: Pascual, Mark E.; Lavelle, Michael G.; Deering, Michael F.; Ramani, Nandini.

U.S. Patent No. 6,940,529: Graphics system configured to perform distortion correction.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,924,816: Compensating for the chromatic distortion of display images.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,894,698: Recovering added precision from L-bit samples by dithering the samples prior to an averaging computation.
Authors: Deering; Michael F.; Naegle, N David; Nelson, Scott R.

U.S. Patent No. 6,885,384: Method of creating a larger 2-D sample location pattern from a smaller one by means of X, Y address permutation.
Authors: Deering, Michael F.; Naegle, Nathaniel David; Oberoi, Ranjit S.

U.S. Patent No. 6,879,328: Support of multi-layer transparency.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,850,236: Dynamically adjusting a sample-to-pixel filter in response to user input and/or sensor input.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,847,368: Graphics system with a buddy / quad mode for faster writes.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,816,162: Data managment to enable video rate anti-aliasing convolution.
Authors: Taneja, Nimita J.; Naegle, Nathaniel David; Deering, Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,801,202: Graphics system configured to parallel-process graphics data using multiple pipelines.
Authors: Nelson, Scott R.; Grenier, Lisa; Deering, Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,795,076: Graphics system with real-time convolved pixel readback.
Authors: Deering, Michael F.; Naegle, Nathaniel David.

U.S. Patent No. 6,781,585: Graphics system having a super-sampled sample buffer and having single sample per pixel support.
Authors: Naegle, Nathaniel David; Deering, Michael F.; Lavelle, Michael G.; Lavelle, Carol A.; Nelson, Scott R.

U.S. Patent No. 6,771,272: Graphics system having a super-sampled sample buffer with hot spot correction.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,762,760: Graphics system configured to implement fogging based on radial distances.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,753,870: Graphics system configured to switch between multiple sample buffer contexts.
Authors: Deering; Michael F.; Naegle; Nathaniel David; Lavelle; Michael G.

U.S. Patent No. 6,747,663: Interpolating sample values from known triangle vertex values.
Authors: Oberoi; Ranjit S.; Deering; Michael F.; Arcuri; Salvatore.

U.S. Patent No. 6,747,659: Relative coordinates for triangle rendering.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,747,644: Decompression of surface normals in three-dimensional graphics data. (Continuation of 6,088,034)
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,734,850: Graphics system with a programmable sample position memory.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,717,578: Graphics system with a variable-resolution sample buffer.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,671,796: Converting an arbitary fixed point value to a floating point value.
Authors: Sudharsanan; Subramania; Chan; Jeffrey Meng Wah; Deering; Michael F.; Tremblay; Marc; Nelson; Scott R.

U.S. Patent No. 6,664,955: Graphics system configured to interpolate pixel values.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,650,232: Graphics system having a super-sampled sample buffer and having a single sample per pixel support.
Authors: Naegle; Nathaniel David; Deering; Michael F.; Lavelle; Michael G.; Lavelle; Carol A.; Nelson; Scott R.

U.S. Patent No. 6,628,277: Decompression of three-dimensional graphics data using mesh buffer references to reduce redundancy of processing.
Authors: Deering; Michael F.; Tremblay; Marc; Chan; Jeffrey.

U.S. Patent No. 6,624,823: Graphics system configured to determine triangle orientation by octant identification and slope comparison.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,618,054: Dynamic depth-of-field emulation based on eye-tracking.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,603,470: Compression of surface normals in three-dimensional data.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,577,312: Graphics system configured to filter samples using a variable support filter.
Authors: Deering; Michael F.; Naegle; Nathaniel David; Nelson; Scott.

U.S. Patent No. 6,570,564: Method and apparatus for rapid processing of scene-based programs.
Authors: Sowizral; Henry; Deering; Michael F.; Rushforth; Kevin; Twilleager; Doug.

U.S. Patent No. 6,559,842: Compressing and decompressing graphics data using gosub-type instructions and direct and indirect attribute settings.
Authors: Deering; Michael F.; Tremblay; Marc; Chan; Jeffrey.

U.S. Patent No. 6,535,220: Static and dynamic video resizing.
Authors: Deering; Michael F.; Naegle; Nathanial D.; Lavelle; Mike.

U.S. Patent No. 6,532,012: Geometry instructions for graphics data compression.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

Morphing decompression in a graphics system.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,525,723: Graphics system which renders samples into a sample buffer and generates pixels in response to stored samples at different rates.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,525,722: Geometry Compression for regular and irregular mesh structures.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,522,327: Decompression of variable-length encoded compressed threedimensional graphics data.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,522,326: Decompression of quantized compressed three-dimensional graphics data.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,496,187: Graphics system configured to perform parallel sample to pixel calculations.
Authors: Deering; Michael F.; Naegle; Nathaniel David; Nelson; Scott.

U.S. Patent No. 6,496,186: Graphics system having a super-sampled sample buffer with generation of output pixels using selective adjustment of filtering for reduced artifacts.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,489,956: Graphics system having a super-sampled sample buffer with generation of output pixels using selective adjustment of filtering for implementation of display effects.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,483,504: Graphics system having a super-sample frame buffer with efficient storage of sample position information.

U.S. Patent No. 6,466,206: Graphics system with programmable real-time alpha key generation.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,459,439: Segmenting compressed graphics data for parallel decompression and rendering.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,459,428: Programmable sample filtering for image rendering.
Authors: Burk; Wayne Eric; Tang; Yan Y.; Lavelle; Michael G.; Leung; Philip C.; Deering; Michael F.; Oberoi; Ranjit S.

U.S. Patent No. 6,429,867: System and method for generation and playback of three-dimensional movies.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,426,755: Graphics system using sample tags for blur.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,424,343: Graphics system with programmable real-time sample filtering.
Authors: Deering; Michael F.; Naegle; Nathaniel David; Nelson; Scott.

U.S. Patent No. 6,417,861: Graphics system with programmable sample positions.
Authors: Deering; Michael F.; Naegle; Nathaniel David; Nelson; Scott.

U.S. Patent No. 6,359,630: Graphics system using clip bits to decide acceptance, rejection, clipping.
Authors: Morse; Wayne; Deering; Michael F.; Lavelle; Mike; Kubalska; Ewa; Pan; Huang; Nelson; Scott R.

U.S. Patent No. 6,313,838: Estimating graphics system performance for polygons.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,307,557: Decompression of three-dimensional graphics data including quantization, delta-encoding, and variable length encoding.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,262,748: Frame buffer memory with on-chip ALU and pixel cache.
Authors: Deering; Michael F.; Schlapp; Stephen A.; Lavelle; Michael G.

U.S. Patent No. 6,256,041: Decompression of three-dimensional geometry representing a regularly tiled surface portion of a graphical object.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,239,805: Method and apparatus for geometric compression of threedimensional graphics data.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,215,500: Compression of three-dimensional geometry data representing a regularly tiled surface portion of a graphical object.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,195,106: Graphics system with multiported pixel buffers for accelerated pixel processing.
Authors: Deering; Michael F.; Schlapp; Stephen A.; Lavelle; Michael G.

U.S. Patent No. 6,169,554: Clip testing unit for a three-dimensional graphics accelerator.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,141,013: Rapid computation of local eye vectors in a fixed point lighting unit.
Authors: Nelson; Scott R.; Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,115,047: Method and apparatus for implementing efficient floating point Zbuffering.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,088,034: Decompression of surface normals in three-dimensional graphics data.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,046,746: Method and apparatus implementing high resolution rendition of Zbuffered primitives.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,028,610: Geometry instructions for decompression of three-dimensional graphics data.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 6,018,353: Three-dimensional graphics accelerator with an improved vertex buffer for more efficient vertex processing.
Authors: Deering; Michael F.; Neilly, Michael.

U.S. Patent No. 6,014,144: Rapid computation of local eye vectors in a fixed point lighting unit.
Authors: Nelson; Scott R.; Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 5,999,196: System and method for data multiplexing within geometry processing units of a three-dimensional graphics accelerator.
Authors: Storm; Shawn F; Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 5,963,200: Video frame synchronization of independent timing generators for frame buffers in a master-slave configuration.
Authors: Deering; Michael F; Lavelle; Michael G.; Koltzoff; Alex N.; Kehlet; David C.

U.S. Patent No. 5,956,046: Scene synchronization of multiple computer displays.
Authors: Kehlet; David C.; Lavelle; Michael G.; Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 5,933,153: Mesh buffer for decompression of compressed three-dimensional graphics data.
Authors: Deering; Michael F.; Wynn; Aaron S.

U.S. Patent No. 5,914,724: Lighting unit for a three-dimensional graphics accelerator with improved handling of incoming color values.
Author: Deering; Michael F.; Morse; Wayne; Nelson; Scott R.; Rushforth; Kevin.

U.S. Patent No. 5,905,502: Compression of three-dimensional graphics data using a generalized triangle mesh format utilizing a mesh buffer.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 5,874,969: Three-dimensional graphics accelerator which implements multiple logical buses using common data lines for improved bus communication.
Authors: Storm; Sean F.; Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 5,870,094: System and method for transferring compressed three-dimensional graphics data.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 5,867,167: Compression of three-dimensional graphics data including quantization, delta-encoding, and variable-length encoding.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 5,842,004: Method and apparatus for decompression of compressed geometric three-dimensional graphics data.
Authors: Deering; Michael F.; Wynn; Aaron S.

U.S. Patent No. 5,821,949: Three-dimensional graphics accelerator with direct data channels for improved performance.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 5,793,371: Method and apparatus for geometric compression of threedimensional graphics data.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 5,745,125: Floating point processor for a three-dimensional graphics accelerator which includes floating point, lighting and set-up cores for improved performance.
Authors: Deering; Michael F.; Morse; Wayne; Ajirotutu; Adeleke.

U.S. Patent No. 5,740,409: Command processor for a three-dimensional graphics accelerator which includes geometry decompression capabilities.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 5,579,473: Interface controller for frame buffer random access memory devices.
Authors: Schlapp; Stephen A.; Deering; Michael F.; Kubalska; Ewa M.; Lavelle; Michael G.

U.S. Patent No. 5,544,306: Flexible dram access in a frame buffer memory and system.
Authors: Deering; Michael F.; Schlapp; Stephen A.; Lavelle; Michael G.

U.S. Patent No. 5,517,611: Floating-point processor for a high performance three dimensional graphics accelerator.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 5,446,834: Method and apparatus for high resolution virtual reality systems using head tracked display.
Author: Deering; Michael.

U.S. Patent No. 5,440,682: Draw processor for a high performance three dimensional graphic accelerator.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 5,430,870: Saving and restoring traversal state attributes of a directed acyclic graph structure network for a parent structure when it invokes a child structure for traversal.
Authors: Stanton; W. Dean; Deering; Michael.

U.S. Patent No. 5,408,605: Command preprocessor for a high performance three dimensional graphics accelerator.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 5,394,202: Method and apparatus for generating high resolution 3D images in a head tracked display system.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 5,392,393: Architecture for a high performance three dimensional graphics accelerator.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 5,287,437: Method and apparatus for head tracked display of pre-computed stereo images.
Author: Deering; Michael.

U.S. Patent No. 5,163,101: Bitplane area correlator.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 4,945,500: Triangle processor for 3-D graphics display system.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 4,937,785: Visual signal processing backplane bus.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 4,930,091: Triangle classification setup method and apparatus for 3D graphics display system.
Authors: Schroeder; Brian D.; Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 4,901,064, Feb 1990: Normal vector shading for 3-D graphics display system.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 4,885,703, Dec 1989: 3-D graphics display system using triangle processors pipeline.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 4,864,629: Image correlation system.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 4,817,175: Video stream processing system.
Authors: Tenenbaum; Jay M.; Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 4,800,431: Video stream processing frame buffer controller.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 4,791,675: VSP Connectivity pattern recognition system.
Authors: Deering; Michael F.; Hunt; Neil.

U.S. Patent No. 4,754,412: System for simulating electronic digital circuits.
Authors: Deering; Michael F.; Hunt; Neil.

U.S. Patent No. 4,754,412, June 1988: Arithmetic logic system using the output of a first alu to control the operation of a second alu.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 4,752,894: Color plotter controller.
Authors: Deering; Michael F.; Nehring; Curt; Graves; William R.; Emmett; David M.; Adriancen; Gus.

U.S. Patent No. 4,742,551, May 1988: Multistatistics Gatherer.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

U.S. Patent No. 4,680,626 July 1987: Color Image Processing system for converting analog video to digital data.
Authors: Deering; Michael F.; Collins; Galen.

Publically Viewable Pending U.S. Patent Applications:

20040012600: Scalable high performance 3d graphics.
Authors: Deering; Michael F.; Lavelle, Michael G.

20050046632: Method and apparatus for vertex splitting in a graphics system.
Authors: Chiu, K.; Hu, V.; Deering, M.

20040207622: Efficient implementation of shading language programs using controlled partial evaluation.
Authors: Deering, Michael F.; Twilleager, Douglas C.; Rice, Daniel S.

20040196285: Displacement mapping by using two passes through the same rasterizer.
Authors: Rice, Daniel S.; Deering, Michael F.

20040189650: Accelerator control unit configured to manage multiple hardware contexts.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

20040183801: Rasterization of primitives using parallel edge units.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

20040183795: Sample replication mode with depth value computation.
Authors: Deering, Michael F; Lavelle, Michael G.

20040174378: Automatic gain control, brightnerss compression, and super-intensity samples.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

20040174360: System and Method for computing filtered shadow estimates using reduced bandwidth.
Authors: Deering, Michael F; Lavelle, Michael G.; Twilleager, Douglas C.; Rice, Daniel S.

20040100466: Graphics system having a variable density super-sampled sample buffer.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

20040008204: Switching sample buffer context in response to sample requests for real-time sample filtering and video generation.
Authors: Deering; Michael F.; Naegle, Nathaniel David; Lavelle, Michael G.

20030063095: Statistic logic for collecting a histogram of pixel exponent values.
Authors: Cheung, Alan W.; Deering, Michael F.

20020158856: Multi-stage sample position filtering.
Authors: Deering; Michael F.; Zikan, Karel.

20020050992: Geometry instructions for graphics data compression.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

20020033828: Flexible video architecture for generating video streams.
Authors: Deering; Michael F.; Naegle, N. David.

20020012004: Blending the edges of multiple overlapping screen images.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

20020008697: Matching the edges of multiple overlapping screen images.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

20020005862: Dynamically adjusting a sample-to-pixel filter to compensate for the effects of negative lobes.
Author: Deering; Michael F.

20010033287: Graphics system having a super-sampled sample buffer which utilizes a window ID to specify pixel characteristics.
Authors: Naegle, N. David; Nelson, Scott R.; Deering, Michael F.