It is no stretch to say that Joseph E. Davis, the acclaimed philanthropist from Morgan Hill, CA, has led a long and varied career. From inventing innovative technologies to leading business ventures and engaging in charitable works, Joe has enjoyed a broad swath of life experiences.
- Published 32 U.S. Patents
- Co-founded 3 firms, all of which sold to larger firms
- Revolutionized Disk Drive industry
- Works tirelessly to improve his communities of Gilroy and Morgan Hill
He holds over 30 patents, both in the United States and abroad, including advances in magnetic and magneto-optical data storage as well as switches for Internet speed improvements. Although he has retired from business leadership, Joe continues to provide his expertise as a consultant, focusing on patent and patent infringement issues. He and his wife Barbara make their home in Morgan Hill, California, and both are active in providing safe housing and living conditions for the homeless.
Education and Early Business Ventures
In 1990, Mr. Davis was a co-founder of Iota Memories. At Iota, Joe was part of the team that developed a 2.5-inch removable magnetic disc drive. Iota and its technologies were sold to SyQuest, Inc. in 1991. Joe also served in a senior executive capacity at SyQuest.
In 1996, Joe co-founded the Quinta Corporation. In his role at Quinta, he was the Vice President of Product Development. He co-invented a revolutionary new multi-disc data storage device that brought together two forms of data storage technologies for the first time. By combining magnetic and magneto-optical features in the storage device, the new technology was able to overcome existing limits in hard drive storage. Joe and the technology he co-invented would be covered by Wired Magazine and the Wall Street Journal. Quinta and its product developments were sold to Seagate in 1997. Seagate is regarded as one of the digital data storage leaders, and the sale of Quinta netted $345 million.
Next, Joe embarked on another ambitious business venture, co-founding Capella Photonics, Inc. in 1999. Joe was the company’s CEO from 2000 to 2004, then as its Chairman, until he retired in 2008. At Capella, he was co-inventor of a wavelength-selective switch designed to increase Internet speeds. This made streaming online video delivery possible for the very first time. This truly revolutionized the way people interacted with the World Wide Web. This opened the doors for mobile video streaming and has undoubtedly shifted society’s media consumption.
He was also involved in a patent infringement lawsuit against Cisco Systems and other companies in the technology industry, defending the company’s developments from patent violations. Capella’s business operations were sold to Alcatel-Lucent in 2013, but Capella retained the intellectual properties he co-developed while at the helm of the company. Today, he serves as a consultant for Capella on patent and patent infringement implications. The lawsuit is still pending and will be revisited in 2018.
In 2005, Mr. Davis shifted gears away from the tech industry when he established the Davis Biomedical Company. Here, he was responsible for developing and marketing an innovative solution for infants. The technology, called DiaperSaver, was designed to improve the hygiene and safety of infants and toddlers in diapers. As with his advances in data storage, the DiaperSaver technology and products are protected by his U.S. and foreign patents.
Davis’ U.S. Patents
- Optical multiplexers with add/drop, servo control, and dynamic spectral power management capabilities
- Diaper rash prevention apparatus
- High fill-factor mirrors, silicon in bulk
- Optical head adapters offset optics
- Flying optical head with mirror dynamic
See detailed information about Davis’ 32 U.S. patents here.
Charitable Works in Morgan Hill, Gilroy, and the Bay Area
Davis is a devout Roman Catholic. As part of his faith, he understands the value of helping others who are less fortunate. Joe and his wife Barbara have been involved in charitable works and are vocal advocates for homeless rights and safety concerns.
Joe began philanthropic work in the 1970s when he assisted in monthly food and clothing drives with the Sacred Heart Community Services of San Jose, California. He continued working with Sacred Heart until 1996 when he was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Our Lady of Fatima Villa, a non-profit retirement home for people of the Catholic faith. He served as a Board member there until 2008. Today, he participates in seasonal events hosted by the church such as food drives, holiday plays, and homeless assistance efforts.
Gilroy Compassion Center
In more recent years, Joe and Barbara have supported projects of the Gilroy Compassion Center (GCC). He has applied his engineering prowess to the task of developing a microhouse on wheels for the homeless. With GCC and the Santa Clara County Housing Department, Joe was able to secure financing for the first microhouse prototype, which is now completed. It has now had several successful runs in the Greater Bay Area with great feedback across the board.
Another GCC project partnership he has been involved in is with the San Jose State University Engineering Department. Here, design and development of a mobile showering and laundry facility for homeless use were undertaken and completed. Joe also works closely with regional government agencies and homeless advocacy groups to secure safe parking and camping areas for use by homeless families. He continues to serve the communities around him with time, talent, and financial contributions.
Don’t stop here!
If you’d like to contact Joe, please click here.