Xerox is an interesting company - it has certainly had its financial ups and downs over the years, and in fact many of us might be hard pressed to answer positively if asked if Xerox is still in business. Well, you may be surprised to discover that the company, which is a very close Norwalk, CT neighbor to TMC, currently has sales approaching $23 billion. It is still a key, if not the key leader for business process and document management.
Xerox of course is also known as the company that developed most of the technology in the late 70s and early 80s that Apple then turned into its very own through the company's original Macintosh computers. Much has been made - historically speaking - about Xerox failing to monetize its inventions back then. Never the less, the company is still very much alive and not only doing well financially, but it turns out that it also continues to innovate.
In 2012 the company was awarded 1,215 U.S. patents, which ranks the company as a major global innovator. The 2012 tally includes patents from Xerox and its wholly-owned subsidiaries, including the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC).
In addition, Xerox's joint venture in Japan, Fuji Xerox Co. received 686 U.S. patents in 2012. When combined, the Xerox group garnered 1,900 U.S. patents, which would have placed Xerox in the top 10 on the IFI Patent Intelligence list worldwide. This patent total is up almost 300 patents over 2011 – an increase of more than 17 percent. Together, Xerox and Fuji Xerox invest about $1.5 billion annually in research, development and engineering.
Among the more interesting, recently issued patents include:
· U.S. Patent 8,315,946, which describes the e-Childcare solution that enables Human Services agencies to subsidize child care services while reducing fraud, paperwork, and payment processing overhead to save taxpayer money.
· US Patent 8,234,237, which describes a workflow management system that notes when data is missing from a scanned document, and returns the document to the workflow when the data is provided.
· U.S Patent 8,195,474 describes a system that scans the databases of a large number of print servers to create a profile of the customer’s needs, generating a list of the most useful marketing portals for the account.
· U.S. Patent 8,190,469 describes elements of the software that runs the PocketPEOTM handheld parking citation device.
"Patents are an important measure of our continued investment in innovation but more importantly, it’s the people behind the patents who turn these inventions into powerful solutions for our clients,” notes Sophie Vandebroek, Xerox chief technology officer and president of the Xerox Innovation Group. “We’re tapping into the creativity and customer-focus of our scientists and engineers to apply innovation in ways that not only advance our document technology but also simplify complex business processes through Xerox’s diverse services in industries such as healthcare, finance, customer care and transportation.”
Xerox has filed over 60,000 patents around the world since 1930, and it is certainly good to know that Xerox’s researchers remain prolific today. The company recently recognized 12 scientists for reaching personal patent milestones, which in total represent 1,550 patents over the past few years. In addition to the National Medal of Technology, the highest honor awarded by the President of the United States, Xerox has received a number of innovation awards including being named to Thomson Reuters' 2012 listing of the World's 100 Most Innovative Companies.
If only Xerox PARC had been proactive in turning their mouse and graphical interface tech into real products back in the early 80s. Perhaps today it would be a different company leading the mobile charge.
TechZone360 Senior Editor
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