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October 15, 1997
97-21

CONTACT:
Richard Maulsby
Lisa-Joy Zgorski
(703)305-8341

Media Advisory, 97-21

Four American Inventors to Receve Ronald H. Brown American Innovator Awards

ARLINGTON, VA - Four of America's most outstanding inventors will receive the Ronald H. Brown American Innovator Award from the U.S. Commerce Department's Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) on Oct. 16 at the Department of Commerce auditorium (14th/Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C.). Alma Brown, widow of the late Secretary Ronald Brown, after whom the award was named, will join Bruce A. Lehman, assistant secretary of commerce and commissioner of patents and trademarks, to preside over the award ceremony. The ceremony, which begins at 7:15 p.m., will help kick-off Mind Matters '97, the Patent and Trademark Office's exposition and celebration of the importance of intellectual property in fostering American innovation and creativity.

"The American Innovator Award, established in 1985, was renamed to honor the late Secretary Brown, who was a strong supporter of the intellectual property system," said Commerce Secretary William Daley, "I am honored to continue his work in this important area. Through this award, we recognize the enormous social and economic contributions made by American inventors. Without their efforts, we wouldn't be the world economic presence we are today."

"This award showcases these stellar inventors—heroes really—who have made monumental contributions to American modern society," said Lehman.

This year's award recipients: 

Mr. Dennis Moeller and Dr. Mark Dean — Both invented the microcomputer with bus control means for peripheral devices, a system that permitted the systems of IBM and IBM-compatible computers to rapidly communicate with one another. This made possible the development of fast and efficient personal computers. Dean, just 40, holds more than 20 patents, including three of IBM's original nine PC patents. In 1997, he received the Black Engineer of the Year President's Award from IBM. Moeller, 47, has earned 25 patents in PC system designs and printers.

Dr. Robert W. Bower — Bower invented the field-effect device with insulated gate, also known as the Self-Aligned Gate MOSFET. Bower's invention made possible the fast electronic circuits that are commonplace today in computers other consumer electronic products. He holds 24 U.S. patents in the fields of semiconductor devices and technology.

Dr. Robert H. Dennard — Dennard invented the one-transistor dynamic random access memory, commonly known as DRAM or simply RAM. DRAM made possible the small desktop computers in common use today. His invention is most often installed and integrated in great numbers on a single silicon chip. A silicon chip the size of a person's thumbnail could contain about 16 million DRAM cells. There have been more RAM cells manufactured than any other manmade object on the planet.

The Ronald H. Brown American Innovator Award Ceremony will follow a reception in the lobby of the Commerce Department which begins at 5 p.m. Reporters with valid credentials are welcome to attend. 

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