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Oracle v Google: Implications of the SCOTUS decision

We’ve promised to provide regular updates about important events related to our litigation to stop Arista’s wrongful copying of Cisco’s copyrighted and patented intellectual property. An action by the Supreme Court of the United States this week has the potential to change the landscape for our US District Court action related to our CLI technology.

In December 2014, we took action against Arista’s verbatim copying of portions of our user manuals and over 500 of our multi-word commands in our command line interface (CLI). At the time, some speculated that the CLI copying might be justified under principles that Google had asserted regarding its copying of the Sun/Oracle code for JAVAscript Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), and Arista’s lawyers were relying on that argument in court. At that time, Google was appealing the Federal Circuit’s decision (holding that API software code is copyrightable) with the Supreme Court of the United States.

Some felt that if the Supreme Court took up the Oracle/Google case and reversed Oracle’s Federal Circuit win, it might somehow apply to justify Arista’s brazen copying. It’s worth noting that Arista also offers a CLI that they created themselves (though it’s not used by many of their customers), and the only justification in their public statements prior to the litigation was that their users preferred Cisco’s CLI. With that in mind, we’ve always felt that Arista’s copying of large portions of the Cisco CLI could be distinguished from Google’s argument in that there was no alternative to the API code to create Java-compatible applications.

However, the Supreme Court decision this week, to decline to review Oracle’s win in the Federal Circuit, effectively removed another argument that Arista could make to the Court.

Once again, we call on Arista to stop their blatant copying, respect others’ intellectual property rights, and immediately disable use of the copied Cisco CLI. We are using all available processes to resolve this matter, and will undertake all necessary steps to expedite the District Court’s review of our claims and ask the court to instruct Arista to end use of their products that include the copied CLI.

Note that this decision affects only the copyright claims in the District Court.  Our patent claims in the District Court and our International Trade Commission action about Arista’s infringement of twelve Cisco patents continues apace. We are confident in our case and expect positive rulings to be issued by next May.

 

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Cisco Announces Intent to Acquire OpenDNS

Every day, more people, processes, data and things become connected. As this trend continues to grow exponentially, so too, do opportunities for security breaches and malicious threats. With an estimated 50 billion devices being connected by 2020, enterprise customers will face greater challenges in protecting their ever-expanding networks. To address these risks Cisco is focused on providing solutions across the extended network for its customers, what we call Security Everywhere. We are embedding threat protection capabilities from the enterprise infrastructure to the data center, from mobile to the cloud, and on the endpoints within their environment.

To enhance our strategy, I am pleased to announce our intent to acquire OpenDNS, a leading provider of advanced threat protection for any device, anywhere, anytime, delivered in a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. The acquisition will extend our ability to provide customers enhanced visibility and threat protection for unmonitored and potentially unsecure entry points into the network, and to quickly and efficiently deploy and integrate these capabilities as part of their defense architecture. This acquisition builds on Cisco’s security strategy, adding broad visibility and predictive threat intelligence from OpenDNS’ cloud platform, accessed by more than 65 million users daily.

To build on Cisco’s advanced threat protection capabilities, we plan to continue to innovate a cloud delivered Security platform integrating OpenDNS’ key capabilities to accelerate that work. Over time, we will look to unite our cloud-delivered solutions, enhancing Cisco’s advanced threat protection capabilities across the full attack continuum—before, during and after an attack.

The OpenDNS team will join the Cisco Security Business Group under the leadership of Senior Vice President and General Manager David Goeckeler. Their deep security expertise and key technologies will be a natural fit to Cisco’s security vision and the Security Business Group. The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of fiscal 2016.

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Digital Transformation in the Oil & Gas Industry: “Drill, Data, Drill!”

“Drill, baby, drill” makes for an easy mantra when it comes to energy exploration, but the oil and gas (O&G) industry moved past simply drilling long ago with the introduction of digital information processing. For example, integrated production modeling was introduced in the 1970s. With the recent turmoil in the energy industry, the stakes are even higher for O&G companies to work smarter and more efficiently. Forward-looking businesses are making the transition to true digital transformation, which requires the adoption of the Internet of Everything (IoE)—the networked connection of people, process, data, and things—throughout the entire O&G value chain. According to a recent Cisco study, of these four IoE elements, essential “data” is the component most in demand—and the element that needs the most improvement.

Survey respondents identified “data” as the area of IoE they need to improve most to drive insight and value.

Survey respondents identified “data” as the area of IoE they need to improve most to drive insight and value.

However, in many cases it’s not data that’s lacking; O&G firms are awash in data generated by sensors and machines spread throughout their far-flung operations. The struggle comes in capturing real-time operating data closest to the point it’s created, analyzing it in real-time and applying the results to improve functional and business capabilities. To capitalize on the wide range of data IoE generates, O&G firms must overcome three key challenges:

  • Automating the collection of data
  • Integrating data from multiple—and often far-flung—sources
  • Analyzing data to effectively identify actionable insights

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At the Center of the Digital Vortex: Chaos, Disruption, and Opportunity

The only thing that remains constant is change.

It’s an old adage. While it has always been true, it’s especially relevant now. Today’s pace of technology change is akin to a vortex, relentlessly and chaotically sweeping everything into its spiral path, demanding digitization. As with a real vortex, the force of this change is too strong to ignore and those objects (or business models) that fail to adapt will break apart and fall away.

Indeed, digital disruption has the potential to overturn incumbents and reshape markets faster than perhaps any force in history. Organizations that do not drive their own digital business transformation will be left behind. Those that do will be pulled toward a “digital center” in which business models, offerings, and value chains are digitized driving new revenue streams and substantive business outcomes.

Developing New Business Models for the Digital Age from Cisco Business Insights

 

The driver behind this pace of disruption is the Internet of Everything (IoE), the networked connection of people, process, data, and things. Cisco projects these connections to surge from 15 billion today to some 50 billion by the end of the decade. IoE is sowing disruption, certainly — but it is a force for disruption and creation. With a total Value at Stake of $19 trillion from 2013 to 2022, IoE represents a profound market transition — and opportunity.

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Statement on House Judiciary Committee 
Passage of Patent Reform Legislation

The House Judiciary Committee today approved patent reform legislation that helps create a level playing field for those seeking to encourage innovation. This is the second time in two weeks that a key Congressional committee voted in favor of reform. It is a clear demonstration of the bipartisan, bicameral support for reform.

Like any legislation, this bill is not perfect, but it takes a meaningful step toward reform which we support.

The committee approved a strong fee-shifting provision, and beat back efforts to weaken the measure; it includes discovery language that will help stop fishing expeditions; it provides protections against those who would use demand letters to extort cash settlements from small businesses; and it protects small inventors and universities. We’re concerned that the committee weakened the heightened pleading language, and will work to see that it is restored as the bill moves through the legislative process.

Let me thank Chairman Bob Goodlatte, Silicon Valley Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, and Congressman Darrell Issa, whose efforts on venue reform were of critical importance, and indeed all 24 members of the committee who voted for the bill, for their tremendous leadership in supporting reform.

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