Maryland's Defense Patent Database

The defense community in Maryland is an R&D powerhouse. Use this database to see the innovative patents that are poised for commercialization.

Data is provided by DoD Naval labs in Southern Maryland. Database funding supported by the DoD Office of Economic Adjustment through a Defense Industry Adjustment grant program.

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Signal amplifier by triple Mach-Zehnder interferometers

Patent Number: 8,970,844

AbstractA signal amplifier is provided via a triple Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI) apparatus for determining intensity distribution at either a first port or a second port by a photon from a source. The first and second ports correspond to respective first and second directions. The MZI apparatus includes four beam-splitters disposed co-linearly in parallel between the source and the ports, six parallel mirrors, and first and second path projectors. Three of these mirrors are displaced along the first direction from the beam-splitters, while the remaining mirrors are displaced along the second direction. The path projectors conduct weak measurement of a photon occupation number and are disposed between the second beam-splitter and an adjacent downstream mirror. The output port is disposed beyond the fourth beam-splitter in the first direction. The intensity distribution at the output port is positive in response to one of the first measurement being positive and the second measurement being negative.
Patent Number8,970,844 Issue Date2015-03-03 Link USPTO website

Primary Category

Biographical Information


  • The United States of America as Represented by the Secretary of the Navy

Executive Summary

This patent was granted in 2 years, 19 days, which is a slower than average speed.

It has 5 claims, which is far fewer than average for this category.

Its proximity to basic research is much less than others in this category, and it displays a much slower than average technology cycle time.

This patent received far fewer citations from other patents, and references far fewer other patents, as compared to other patents in this category.

Grant Time

2 years, 19 days



Patent Grant Time

This patent had a slower than average grant time compared to others in this category.

Patent grant time can be influenced by many factors. Activities within the USPTO that are beyond the control of patent attornies can influence grant time, but short grant times can also indicate well-written patents and dedicated efforts to respond rapidly to USPTO office actions with strong arguments. Shorter grant times are preferable, and the scores for this section are inverse measures — higher scores are better.

Patent Claims

This patent has far fewer claims compared to others in this category.

The number of claims in a patent is correlated with its strength. Because greater claim counts increase the cost of a patent, more claims can indicate the importance an applicant assigns to a patent. Importantly, some may elect to file claims across multiple patents. A higher score in this metric indicates more claims, relative to others in this category.

Citations From Other Patents

This patent has received far fewer citations from other patents, than others in this category.

Citations from other patents are an important measure of the significance of a patent. More citations indicate that other technologies build on a patent. Higher scores in this metric are better, and indicate more citations from other patents.

Citations to Other Patents

This patent referenced many more citations to other patents, than others in this category.

A lower number of citations to other patents can be a sign of diminished patent strength. More citations indicate dependence on more other technologies. Higher scores in this category are better, and indicate fewer citations to other patents.

Research and Innovation Indicators
These are percentile ranks — they indicate the percentage of peers with lower scores.

Proximity to Basic Research



This patent has much less proximity to basic research compared to others in this category.

Proximity to basic research is measured by comparing the number of citations to non-patent literature among a cohort of patents. Because most non-patent citations are primary research papers, a higher count indicates greater proximity to basic research.