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Patent Fees Should Cover PTO Expenses

Last year’s America Invents Act made major changes to our patent system, largely designed to improve Patent Office operations, reduce the backlog of applications, and the quality of patents.  A properly functioning Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) is vital both to speedy review of patents applied for by companies like Cisco, to weeding out applications that shouldn’t result in patents, and reviewing issued patents to make sure they’re not defective.  Yesterday, the PTO set out a framework to help determine fees for using the services of the PTO going forward.  While there was a lot of disagreement among various industry groups over various provisions of the patent reform legislation, most agreed on one thing at least: the fees paid by users of the PTO should cover the cost of the services the PTO provides, and the fees, once paid, should actually be available to the PTO to provide those services and not diverted to other purposes.

The PTO’s proposal yesterday fulfills the goals of the America Invents Act.  Most important, that proposal is neutral, providing special advantages or imposing special burdens neither on large applicants like Cisco (we apply for over 700 patents per year) nor on smaller applicants who may have very few applications.  It  makes clear that the higher costs of initial review of patent applications should be reflected in the fees paid, to avoid cross-subsidization among different services, and that applicants should have a choice as to the type of processing desired.  The presentation of alternative approaches should lead to a healthy discussion to help the PTO choose the best approach.  Either of the approaches is a big step forward from where we were before the AIA.  The bottom line is that there’s no free lunch, and no free patent process either.    We hope users of the patent office large and small will work together to get a fair and usable result that will lead to the benefits the new law was designed to bring about.

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Openstack, Big Data and Cisco Cloud Software at Cloud Connect Next Week

Next week is Cloud Connect in Santa Clara and Cisco’s Cloud Software group will have a big presence.

While we have plenty to talk about on how Cisco is helping customers build their cloud, we also want to listen to our customers plans and needs. We are bringing some of our engineers and architects so you can engage directly with them.  There are three things you can see next week.

CITEIS -- Cisco’s, in production, private cloud.

See how it was built, the results in agility and cost, and best of all see a demo. Not a fake demo but the real thing.

Of course, we will also be showcasing our award winning cloud automation software, Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (CIAC) (formerly newScale and Tidal), which provides the self-service catalog and orchestration to our private cloud

Read More »

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Manufacturing a Successful Cloud Strategy

I just finished an interview on the topic of “Cloud in Manufacturing” with a German machine-building and factory automation magazine. The interview ran an hour longer than scheduled—an indication of the publication’s interest, as well as its lingering doubts about whether cloud services truly can benefit “real manufacturing.”

We discussed an abundance of cloud-related ideas – most pertaining to obvious areas such as web presence in marketing, after-sales application hosting to make field engineers more productive, and collaboration as a service to enable partners and suppliers to work together more effectively on large projects.

The uncharted cloud territory, however, is the area that manufacturers see their “core”: the physical making of things. Can cloud play a role in supply chain management (yes, it can)? Will there be a cloud service for motion control (due to latency and determinism considerations, not yet) and for asset management and MIS applications (yes)? Read More »

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Online Retailer Turns to Cisco Partner to Help Upgrade Network

February 8, 2012 at 11:44 am PST

Imagine running a call center where all of your phones rang for a single call and your operators had to roshambo to decide who would answer. Pure chaos, right? Well, that describes the situation Wayfair (formerly CSN Stores) was in before INX (recently acquired by Presidio) stepped in to upgrade and enhance their networking capabilities. (Okay, maybe without the roshambo part, but still chaotic nonetheless.)

Wayfair is the largest online retailer in the home goods space. As they grew from a two-person company to one with 800 employees, they looked to INX to provide various network solutions—from expanding their older VoIP-based telephony solution to designing and implementing a scalable Cisco Unified Communications/Collaboration Solution.

Wayfair Co-founder and Chairman Steve Conine says, “We really needed to upgrade to a system that had much more sophisticated routing and better tie-in with our call order system. Having the ability to take advantage of some of the Cisco wireless phone technology for the operators on the floor and the warehouse has been pretty neat.”

Steve also gives glowing reviews of INX. “Over the years, working with INX, they’ve really become a trusted advisor to our IT operations group.”

But INX didn’t become Wayfair’s trusted advisor overnight. Watch as Steve shares why INX continues to be a group he relies on when it comes to providing network solutions.

Read More »

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Hey, it was a joke. No need for handcuffs.

Last week it was reported in the media that two British tourists were detained at Los Angeles International Airport due to the threatening tone of messages on Twitter (“tweets”), as one of the two travelers had said that they were going to “destroy America” on their holiday. It turns out that either the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) noticed those tweets through their efforts to monitor social media, or, as has been suggested more recently, someone explicitly reported the tweets to DHS as a prank. The legal ramifications of this event are worthy of examination when we consider that this event contains elements of language (slang), location (whose laws apply based on where the alleged events took place), and intent — particularly if the prank allegation turns out to be true. Read More »

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