NFC inventors nominated for Patent Office award

Franz Amtmann (l) and Philippe Maugars (r)
RECOGNITION: Franz Amtmann (left) and Philippe Maugars (right) have been nominated for an EPO European Inventor Award for their work on NFC

Two NXP engineers have been nominated for a prestigious inventors’ award from the European Patent Office (EPO) in recognition of the role they played in the birth of NFC.

The EPO European Inventor Award aims to recognize and reward the creativity of inventors who make a real contribution to technological progress and economic growth and positively impact people’s daily lives. Three previous finalists have gone on to collect Nobel Prizes for their work.

NFC was invented by engineers working at Sony and NXP, then known as Philips Semiconductors, in 2002.

Franz Amtmann is an RFID lead architect and has been at the company for nearly 25 years, in which time he has been named on more than 50 patents, while Philippe Maugars spent 30 years with the company working in areas as diverse as smart card readers, power management and LED-based smart lighting systems. Maugars has more than 25 patents to his name.

“To be nominated for the EPO European Inventor Award is a great acknowledgement of the entire team’s hard work, and it is also a personal highlight in my career,” said Amtmann. “From my early days at Graz University of Technology I could barely dream that one day I might play a part in inventing a technology that is changing people’s daily lives around the world.”

Maugars added “I feel very honored to have contributed to this great adventure, and to be recognized by the European Patent Office is unbelievable.”

The pair speak about their role in the invention of NFC in a video produced by the EPO:

Amtmann and Maugars are jointly nominated in the “industry” category, where they are pitted against Jean-Christophe Giron, who invented energy-saving “intelligent” window glass, and Gunnar Asplund, the inventor of a method for high-voltage direct current transmission of electricity over long distances without loss. The awards ceremony will be held in Paris on 11 June.

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