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Protecting Innovation

In the thirteen years I’ve been General Counsel of Cisco, I can count on one hand the number of times we’ve initiated suit against a competitor, supplier or customer.

It’s therefore only after thoughtful and serious consideration that we are today filing two lawsuits to stop Arista’s repeated and pervasive copying of key inventions in Cisco products. These suits cover key Cisco proprietary patented features and Cisco’s copyrighted materials.

(The patent lawsuit can be viewed here. The copyright lawsuit can be viewed here.)

Cisco’s $6 billion annual R&D expense, supported by over 25,000 engineers, has a proven track record of bringing innovation to our customers and partners around the world. Our success is built on using our innovation engine to lead in the marketplace. Our action today is based on the principle that to compete in technology, you need to innovate, not copy.

We have taken this action only after assuring ourselves of four key facts – all of which form the basis for legitimate intellectual property actions between competitors:

  • Arista incorporates features knowing that Cisco holds intellectual property rights related to those features, all of which are Cisco proprietary and none of which are industry standards
  • Arista intentionally markets those features to its customers as a basis for buying the products
  • Arista promotes its copying to convince investors to finance the company
  • Arista’s actions, if unstopped, will embolden others to seek to do the same

Patented Featured Copied

The heart of our action regards Arista’s deliberate inclusion in its products of 12 discrete and important Cisco features covered by 14 different U.S. patents. All of these features are being used by Cisco currently and in products we ship to our customers. None of the implementations are incorporated in industry standards. They were patented by individuals who worked for Cisco and are now at Arista, or who at Cisco worked with executives who are now at Arista. These Cisco-created features and implementations are incorporated by Arista in their entirety into Arista’s products.

  • System Database (“SysDB”) (Arista uses Cisco’s networking device implementation covered by Cisco Patent No. 7,162,537)
  • Zero-Touch Provisioning (“ZTP”) (Arista uses Cisco’s implementation covered by Cisco Patent No. 7,290,164)
  • On Board Failure Logging (“OBFL”) (Arista uses Cisco’s implementation covered by Cisco Patent No.7,340,597)
  • Control Plane Policing (“CoPP”) (Arista uses Cisco’s implementation covered by Cisco Patent No. 7,224,668)
  • Spanning Tree Loop Guard(Arista uses Cisco’s implementations covered by Cisco Patent Nos. 7,460,492 & 7,061,875 )
  • In-Service System Upgrades (“ISSU”) (Arista uses Cisco’s implementation described by Cisco Patent No. 8,356,296)
  • Virtual Port Channels (“vPC”) (Arista uses Cisco’s implementation covered by Cisco Patent No 8,051,211)
  • Access Control ListsImprovements (“ACL”) (Arista uses Cisco’s implementation covered by Cisco Patent Nos. 7,023,853 & 6,377,577)
  • Private Virtual Local Area Networks (“Private VLANs”) (Arista uses Cisco’s implementation covered by Cisco Patent Nos. 6,741,592 & 7,200,145)
  • Generic Command Interface (Arista uses Cisco’s implementation covered by Cisco Patent No. 7,047,526)
  • CLI Command Data Translation (Arista uses Cisco’s implementation covered by Cisco Patent No. 7,953,886)

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Cloud-based IT Energy Management – The Power to Save

The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) in the U.K requires more than 7,000 large enterprises to undertake an energy audit at sites that make up the majority of their total energy use. Initiatives like this are now commonplace across the public and private sectors as growth in web-based services, applications and mobile devices add more IT energy costs.

How organizations consume and conserve energy has been a priority since the 1970s. Today, minimizing global carbon footprint and reducing energy costs are even more important. The key is to have visibility into which devices are connected, be able to measure the amount of energy being consumed by each one, and then be able to set policy that reduces each devices’ energy usage.

Our new offer — Cisco Energy Management Cloud – is a “cloud delivered service” subscription that makes IT energy management much easier. With Cisco Energy Management Cloud, any IP end-point device – regardless of vendor or type – connected to networks can be discovered and controlled via the cloud.  It lets organizations achieve cost savings, and manage their IT energy consumption without having to install and update any software on premise. Additionally, Cisco offers a free 45-day trial that will enable organizations to manage up to 500 devices. It’s a great opportunity to see immediate value, at zero upfront investment and reduce energy costs by up to 35%.

Cisco Energy Management Cloud also provides detailed reporting, so organizations can see and can set policy for their energy usage of PCs, monitors, IP phones, printers, and any other IP-connected devices. It quickly and conveniently gives them the power to make decisions to help reduce their company’s energy consumption. We encourage organizations to take the trial, and then let us know about their experience with Cisco Energy Management Cloud.

To learn more about:

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The Internet of Everything: Catalyst for Change

I just returned from Moscow where I had the honor of speaking to more than 3,400 customers and partners attending Cisco Connect Russia and separately addressing 300 eager undergraduates at Kazan Federal University (KFU) in Tatarstan on what we call the Internet of Everything (IoE)

Our studies show that IoE can drive $19 trillion of economic benefit over the next decade, and more than $273 billion in Russia alone. The depth of engineering talent in Russia places them, as a country, with a very strong opportunity to capitalize on this value and quickly.

Chris Dedicoat with President Minnikhnaov & KFU President Gafurov

Chris Dedicoat with President Minnikhnaov & KFU President Gafurov

The Government of Tatarstan under President Rustam Minnikhnaov are true thought leaders in this respect. The President has the desire to make Kazan, the Capital of Tatarstan, the smartest city in Russia and one of the top five smartest cities in the world, and he is moving rapidly to do this. His goal is to create a city platform to enhance the interaction between Government and Citizens and throw open the opportunities to the talent in the city to develop solutions by citizens…for citizens.

Cisco has partnered with President Minnikhnaov, the Mayor of Kazan and Kazan Federal University in recently opening an Innovation Hub at the University to turn this goal into a reality. Read More »

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Creating a More Secure Internet

Trust is a fundamental requirement for people to use the Internet with confidence, and Cisco continues to find opportunities to make the Internet even more secure.

I am happy to share that we are a founding sponsor of a new public benefit consortium called the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG). The goal of the ISRG is to advocate the use of SSL/TLS technologies by promoting the installation, use and maintenance of digital certificates for Internet services such as Web servers.

Digital certificates provide the anchor for secure communication, and more certificates enable more trusted network traffic. This initiative will significantly reduce the total surface area of exposure by preventing untrusted traffic from becoming bigger attacks.

Currently, deploying secure Internet services requires an intricate series of administrative steps. The ISRG is developing a set of open, standardized APIs for managing certificates and an initial Certificate Authority (CA) that implements these APIs. The vision is that all Internet services will seamlessly acquire and renew certificates during the normal server installation and maintenance processes. Over time, this frictionless approach should greatly expand the number of Internet services that are more rigorously secured.

The ISRG is launching with a diverse set of commercial and non-commercial sponsors. One of the reasons Cisco supports the ISRG approach is their commitment to the open community – its protocols and APIs will be open standards. The ISRG will develop them using a collaborative process, and as much of the software as possible will be open source. The CA it operates will make all records of issuance and revocation available for public inspection, for complete transparency.

Learn more about our involvement with the ISRG and how we collectively plan to support the ubiquitous use of encryption to keep our Internet safe.

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Cisco Shares Workforce Diversity Data

In Cisco’s 2014 Corporate Social Responsibility Report released today, you will find a more complete perspective on the gender, ethnicity, and seniority make up of our company – in the United States and globally. While we have shared information about the diversity of our workforce since 2005, the report offers greater insight into our people and their backgrounds, experiences, cultures, affiliations and points-of-view.

At Cisco we are focused on ensuring we have a culture that fosters inclusion and enables our diverse mix of talent to thrive. I became Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) in June of this year and I want to make this a personal and professional priority for everyone at Cisco. I began my CHRO tenure with the August appointment of Shari Slate as Chief Inclusion and Collaboration Officer. You will hear more from Shari as she and her team build on our existing foundation.

Our numbers are mostly consistent with our past disclosures and we recognize there are areas where we need to increase our focus and improve. Simply put – our business and people strategies require more. Enhanced reporting helps shine the light on performance against our goals – highlighting gaps, blind spots and opportunities – and intensifying accountability. We welcome that light.

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