circletimessquare writes "The New York Times profiles 55 year old Maki Kaji who runs Nikoli, in its article Inside Japan's Puzzle Palace. Nikoli is a puzzle publisher that prides itself on 'a kind of democratization of puzzle invention. The company itself does not actually create many new puzzles — an American invented an earlier version of sudoku, for example. Instead, Nikoli provides a forum for testing and perfecting them.' Also notable is how Mr. Kaji describes how he did not get the trademark for Sudoku in the United States before it was too late. But reminiscent of a theme many Slashdotters will find familiar about intellectual property: 'In hindsight, though, he now thinks that oversight was a brilliant mistake. The fact that no one controlled sudoku's intellectual property rights let the game's popularity grow unfettered, Mr. Kaji says.' Will Nikoli be the source of the next big puzzle fad after Sudoku?"