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Patent Reform Bill Passes House

We were pleased to see H.R. 1908, The Patent Reform Act of 2007, pass the U.S. House of Representatives today. Our own local Representative Zoe Lofgren has been a great supporter of efforts to simplify the patent process and take some of the incentives out of the system for “patent trolls.” Rep. Lofgren states, in part:”I believe this bill strikes the right balance between the need for strong patent rights and the encouragement of innovation. My amendment to the bill, which was incorporated into the manager’s amendment, goes a long way towards addressing this balance by focusing on the troubling growth of forum shopping in patent litigation. The amendment restores fairness and clarity to patent litigation by removing the most glaring instances of forum shopping by patent trolls.” On this note, I came across a great blog site that tracks patent trolls and their efforts to game the system. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (who lives right up the road from Silicon Valley) issued the following statement:”The bipartisan patent reform bill is a significant step toward our Innovation Agenda. It will strengthen the patent system and improve patent quality. This legislation is crucial for American inventors and American ingenuity, for consumers, and for greater innovation and economic growth.”Our SVP and General Counsel, Mark Chandler, offered the following statement: “This is a major victory for innovation and US competitiveness and is a culmination of years of hard work. We believe that this is a positive step into reforming the patent system for the 21st century. To make it a system that rewards innovation and not litigation gamesmanship.”Obviously, this still needs to be acted upon in the Senate and we’ll be watching closely.

Cisco Media Roundtable – Financial Analyst Conference

I just got out of a media roundtable Q&A with Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers (JC), EVP and CFO Dennis Powell (DP), EVP and CDO Charlie Giancarlo (CG) and EVP and CGO Wim Elfrink (WE). We had a handful of media in the room and a handful of media on the phone. Media weren’t allowed to ask questions during the Financial Analyst Conference, so this was their opportunity to get that burning question answered by our top executives. Following is a rough synopsis of some of the questions and answers from the roundtable. I have attempted to capture the exact language in my notes, but I’m not a stenographer. Where I am confident it is a direct quote, I will place it in “quotes.”John Chambers kicked off the talk with a brief overview of the day. “Today was about collaboration. The network enables the power of the ‘we’ instead of the power of the ‘you.'” “We talked about market transitions and our focus on customer requirements…not competition.” Collaboration is “not about a product. It is about an architecture.” We have created technology “in a fashion that a CEO can operate easily.” We showed a brief video about our company meeting using TelePresence and connecting six company sites around the world. It is easy to see how “this changes everything.”Question: What network load increase do you expect from video?JC: We predicted “network loads would grow in 200 to 300% range” five to seven years ago. Our CRS-1 “was built not for phone calls but for video.” “CIOs are now seeing that 100% growth is probable and 200% is likely.” CG: “The network load has doubled every year for 40 years.” “With video, for 10 to 15 years it can continue growing.” “It is fairly common knowledge that internet will be the primary transport mechanism for video.” WE: “We cannot operate alone, we have to be totally collaborative. TelePresence is crucial for our existence in India.” “TelePresence was one of reasons for me and my family to move to India, I knew I could stay connected.” Read More »

Cisco Video of “Round the World” session via TelePresence

With an homage to the cinematography of The Blair Witch Project and the Jason Bourne movies, here is some video I just captured of an interaction between Cisco CEO John Chambers (in San Jose) and Cisco AsiaPac SVP Owen Chan (in Hong Kong.) Also seated at the TelePresence table are (from left): Rob Lloyd, SVP, US and Canada (in New York City); Paul Mountford, SVP, Emerging Markets and Chris Dedicoat, SVP, European Markets (both in London).Very cool life-size, high-definition collaboration and interaction. Apologies for the shaky camera work, but I wanted to give you a sense for the real-time conversation that is possible via TelePresence…whether you are in San Jose, London, New York or Hong Kong. Read More »

Wim Elfrink Video Blog: Globalization, Change and Talent

Wim Elfrink, Cisco EVP and Chief Globalization Officer, is based in Bangalore, India. His boss, Cisco CEO John Chambers, is based in California. With this distance, how do they work together effectively? No, this isn’t the idea for a sit-com. This is real life. Of course, TelePresence is the short answer to how they work together, but a lot more goes into it.He will be giving his perspective on globalization at 1:15PM PT today and you can watch him on the webcast or come back later and view the video archive. Watch this short video to see Wim answer the following three questions:– How do you prioritize and manage your work/life balance?- Change management is key to making globalization successful. Do you see your role as a change agent?- How will you capture talent in the global talent market? Read More »

Cisco Video Dennis Powell: CFO Talks Collaboration

I worked with Dennis Powell in 1999 on Cisco’s Y2K project way back when he was a VP and the controller of the company. He’s now an EVP and the CFO. He was smart, steady and deliberate in his approach to managing a global “follow the sun” Y2K operation and he is the same now that he is CFO.You can watch him live via webcast at 2:00PM PT…or come back later and watch the archive. In the meantime, you can watch this short video to see his answers to the following questions:1. What are you talking to analysts about today?2. A key theme of the FAC is collaboration, how does your Finance organization use Cisco’s collaborative and UC tools? 3. What is the one key message you’d like analysts to take away from FAC?* Read More »