Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Inventor in Japan

I am delighted to announce that I have been acknowledged as an inventor of Japanese patent #5261432 for a system I designed while at NTT Communications.  I'd like to thank my friends and colleagues NOZAWA Ken, SHIMIZU Shigeko, and YAMAMOTO Rie for their support, and my manager HATAKENAKA Teruaki for his patience and understanding.  Most of all, I'd like to thank TAKANASHI Hitoshi, the head of NTT Multimedia Communications Laboratories at the time, for making it possible for me to live and work in Tokyo.

The patent has a rather long title that translates to "Communications System, Packet Transfer Method, Network Switching Equipment, Access Control Equipment, and Program" and describes a unique system we devised to extend corporate network traffic to select terminals on public networks without the need of VPN software by creating virtual circuits through a (trusted) telecommunications infrastructure.  I initially designed the system to meet some specific business requirements of NTT Communications' HOTSPOT wireless service; it is awesome to see the diagrams from my design document -- including the one above -- appear verbatim in the patent.

I am a little disappointed that I got bottom billing on the inventor list, but I assume that reflects my status as a contractor and the work that I assume Nozawa-san, Shimizu-san, and Hatakenaka-san had to do to shepherd the patent application along after I returned to California.  Nonetheless, I've got a patent in Japan -- how cool is that?