Patent for Desktop Call Management
One of the legacies of Xantel is the patent the company received for desktop call control technology, of which several of the senior engineers were included. It makes a nice wall hanging. I’m not sure what became of the patent rights when the company was dissolved. Hopefully someone is using the technology for good. My feeling is that many of the innovations that were included came out of the leaders of the software department, myself included in a small way. But I think my software colleagues contributed far more in terms of ideas whose time had come.
When I think of the ground-breaking achievements that I am most proud of, the work at Xantel is not at the top of the list. The many software innovations I developed for Pacestar Software were more significant and many may have been more novel. However, that’s just a feeling. Software technology moved very fast and I was far too busy to be concerned with patents. I suspect many of my best ideas led or followed the status quo by only a month or two. And the one most concrete and potentially patentable work I did was probably my LockJaw board interlocking design for Flatiron Cornhole. I completed a fairly thorough patent search for that and wrote the initial claims but did not pursue it to fruition for financial reasons.
But the Xantel patent is the only one I was actually awarded, so I think of it as representative of my whole body of inventive work. My childhood aspirations of becoming an inventor may not have been realized (to date), but I do feel very satisfied when I look back at my accomplishments. So in a way this patent holds some special personal meaning to me that far exceeds what it actually represents.