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Statement of Mark Chandler on Need for Patent System that Rewards Innovation and Discourages Speculation

I’ve commented here about the imperative to return to a patent system that incents and rewards innovation and discourages the speculators and opportunists who are using litigation leverage and bad patents to extract money from the productive elements of the economy.  That’s why we urge the Senate to follow the House’s overwhelming, bipartisan vote to limit patent rent-seeking by these financiers.  We also welcome today’s White House initiative to drive better patent quality from the get-go by making sure applications that don’t meet patentability requirements aren’t granted.   I am pleased to announce that Cisco will participate.

I once worked for a giant company whose employees used to joke, “If only we knew what we know.”  Well, nowhere is that saying more true than in the search for prior art to determine if a patent should be granted. To do the most effective job of reviewing new patent filings, the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) needs ready access to relevant prior art so that patents aren’t improperly approved just because our superb but chronically overworked patent examiners have no practical way of finding it.  This is especially important in rapidly developing fields where important advances aren’t captured in patent filings or conventional publications.  

To improve the quality of patents in networking technology, Cisco is today committing to assembling our own public product documentation, converting it to electronic form, and making it readily searchable by examiners.  We hope that our peers will join in this effort and help greatly broaden the scope of searchable prior art in the information technology field.  Patent prior art search is an ideal opportunity to put “crowdsourcing” to work.  

Additionally, we will continue to electronically publish many invention submissions that are not internally approved to be patent filings so that these too can be used by examiners.  Another important aspect of this effort: continuing to provide examiners access to senior Cisco technical talent in the form of training on current technology and the prior art in the networking field.    

As the owner of over 10,000 US patents and a frequent target of assertions of bad patents, we have a responsibility to work to improve the system with the tools we have.  And we will keep doing so.  When our patent examiners can say, “We know what we know”, we’ll be one more step toward a patent system that meets the Founders’ goal of truly “promoting progress in science and useful arts.”

 

Statement of Adam Golodner on the Rollout of the NIST Cybersecurity Framework

Earlier today, the White House cybersecurity office and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) rolled out the first version of the NIST Cybersecurity Framework.  Congratulations to all in the public and private sector who worked so hard to get to this important milestone.  The high level government and widespread private sector involvement in this work is a clear indication that cybersecurity remains a central challenge for businesses and governments alike.

Today’s rollout is just the beginning.  NIST ran an exhaustive, open, process, with hundreds of comments, five public workshops around the country, and thousands of participants. More work will surely be needed going forward.  As NIST says, the Framework will be an iterative process, and this is a dynamic area where threats and challenges change on a near-daily basis.

The result achieves the goals of most of the participants:  a Framework that sets a common risk management language, is voluntary, flexible, based on existing best practices, recognizes the importance of innovation, and has global applicability. This approach sets an important precedent globally.  It also demonstrates the value of public-private partnerships which are the basis for future action in this important area.

Cisco looks forward to continuing to work with those who participated in this process, as well as other stakeholders, to build on and incorporate lessons learned into future versions of the Framework.

Statement of Jeff Campbell on FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s E-Rate Announcement

“Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler in his speech today made it clear that transforming the nation’s E-Rate program is one of his biggest priorities.  That is welcome news.

The E-Rate program has done an incredible job of connecting 100,000 schools and libraries to the internet since its inception.  But technology has changed the way teachers teach and students learn, and the program must keep up with the times.

Chairman Wheeler understands that the next challenge is bringing broadband connectivity to a full classroom of students and teachers all at once.  When this happens, it creates incredible opportunities to use video and cutting edge applications as part of the everyday learning process, which  has been shown to lead to significant improvements in educational outcomes.

As part of our enduring commitment to improving K-12 education, Cisco has put forward a number of recommendations for how to modernize and reform E-Rate.  We stand ready to work with the Chairman, the Commissioners, the FCC staff, and members of Congress to ensure that the program continues to be central to the Federal Government’s effort to improve education in every school in America.

Statement by Mary Brown on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Decision on Vehicle-to-Vehicle Technology

Today’s decision by the US Department of Transportation to move forward with vehicle-to-vehicle safety technology for cars and light trucks is welcome news.

Not only does this mark the first use of radio technology that will make our driving experience safer, but it is also the first use of the Intelligent Transportation Service spectrum at 5.9 GHz that was set aside for these purposes nearly 15 years ago.

Just as important, this is a victory for IEEE 802.11 technology.  ITS radios utilize this (802.11) technology, creating a real opportunity for Wi-Fi sharing in the 5.9 GHz band, since the two technologies were born from the same standard.

The FCC is continuing to conduct its analysis on whether sharing is technologically feasible.  Cisco believes, given Wi-Fi’s ability to listen, detect, and avoid, that the band can be robustly utilized by ITS and Wi-Fi, while ensuring safety of drivers and passengers.

Cisco looks forward to working with the auto industry on the implementation of the next chapter in connected vehicles.

“Has Hybrid Cloud Arrived? Part 2: Cisco InterCloud makes hybrid cloud real !

In my last blog, “Has Hybrid Cloud Arrived? Part 1: And How Will it Shape the Role of IT Going Forward?” we looked at the business drivers of a hybrid cloud and previewed the key requirements. In this blog, we will look at Cisco InterCloud – a hybrid cloud solution, we announced this week at Cisco Live! Milan, to address the hybrid cloud needs for enterprise and service provider customers.

Business leaders today are heavily growth-oriented and are looking at new ways of deploying applications to obtain greater agility. That is where we see hybrid cloud becoming mainstream as it frees businesses to run applications on-demand and where it’s most cost-effective. Cisco InterCloud was announced to address this opportunity and facilitate optimal hybrid cloud deployments.

Hybrid Cloud

Cisco InterCloud comes with unique capabilities that enable enterprises to connect their private cloud to heterogeneous public clouds. It creates the notion of a single scalable hybrid cloud for all physical, virtual and cloud workloads -- an infinite datacenter where the public cloud is treated as a virtual extension of the data center. Cisco InterCloud is designed with these tenets:

Open: Customers are excited about Cisco InterCloud, as it is an open solution that gives customers the freedom to choose hypervisor on private cloud and select their public cloud from a rich ecosystem of cloud providers. Service providers like InterCloud as it is open API based, integrates with multiple cloud platforms, e.g., CloudStack, vCloud, and OpenStack and enables them to rapidly offer a hybrid cloud solution. It reduces the effort to onboard enterprise customers. Cisco InterCloud thus provides a multi-cloud, multi-hypervisor cloud experience.

Secure: Another key factor in hybrid cloud adoption is the need to address the security and compliance concerns of public cloud deployment. Cisco InterCloud provides end-to-end secure connectivity by encrypting traffic between the enterprise private cloud and the service provider cloud. It also ensures workload security by encrypting all data-in-motion within shared multi-tenant public cloud. Additionally, customers can also deploy network services such as zone based virtual firewall and edge firewall for further workload security within public cloud.

Flexible: Customers demand bi-directional workload portability across private and public clouds. With Cisco InterCloud, customers not only can provision workloads from a self-service portal, but also with a click, migrate workloads to the public cloud and back. All of this activity happens behind the scenes as InterCloud converts workloads to the right VM format, such as VMware VMDK to AWS AMI, or to CloudStack format for providers such as BT. It makes workload portability easier as applications don’t need to be re-architected as IP addresses are retained upon migration and enterprise VLANs are extended into the cloud.

I believe that lines of business and developers are leading the journey to hybrid cloud adoption. IT has realized that it needs to shift away from its role as gatekeeper to instead being a partner to Lines of Business but IT faces certain challenges in doing so. IT has to deal with the overhead of integrating with each cloud provider and find ways to do in a secure manner. Cisco InterCloud enables IT to act as a cloud broker on behalf of lines of business. Cisco InterCloud provides unified hybrid cloud management through a built-in IT Admin portal and an extensible northbound API layer. It also allows IT to enforce consistent network security, L4-7 services and workload policies throughout the hybrid cloud.

This week’s Cisco InterCloud announcement demonstrates our continued commitment to customers. We envision a future where customers have an array of cloud options and can pick the ‘best fit’ based on workload needs, performance, cost, and location requirements. We are going into beta next quarter and have announced general availability soon afterwards. As 2014 dawns, we see a shift towards mainstream hybrid cloud adoption — hybrid cloud is finally here for real.

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