Today’s definitive agreement for purchase of the Rockstar patents by a subsidiary of patent clearinghouse RPX Corporation, with simultaneous licensing of the portfolio to more than 30 technology companies, including Cisco, represents a victory for common sense. It also puts to rest a wayward and misguided business model that threatened to add costs to industry and consumers with no benefits to innovation or economic development. This step should also send a strong message to companies who toy with the idea of “monetizing” their patent portfolios through transactions with private equity and non-practicing-entities, or by shaking down other industry participants: They will find themselves isolated. In short, they will end up as net losers if they initiate a game based on short-sighted greed.
We’re taking a different approach. Working with RPX, we devised a licensing model where even those who chose not to join with more than thirty of their peers in this purchase will still have the chance to license on comparable and fair terms. Kent Walker, the general counsel of Google, was instrumental in pulling this together. Brad Smith and Bruce Sewell, the general counsels of Microsoft and Apple, deserve huge credit for working with the other Rockstar members – Blackberry, Ericsson and Sony – to reach a consensus that produced this positive result.
The origins of “Rockstar” are found in the smartphone patent wars that began several years ago. While we have no quarrel with companies using their patents to stop the copying of differentiating features without permission (and in fact commented favorably on the direct Apple-Samsung litigation), the driving up of patent valuations as each side in the war sought to bulk up for battle ended up serving no one other than lawyers and middlemen. Rockstar’s litigation strategy turned out to be inconclusive, keeping many lawyers very busy but with little money changing hands to date.
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Tags: innovation, patent reform, Patents, Rockstar, RPX
During my recent trip in Dubai, I had the pleasure of experiencing both the personal and climactic warmth of this extremely modern smart city. Known for building the world’s tallest structure, the Burj Khalifa, Dubai also has emerged as a global business, financial and transportation hub in the Persian Gulf leveraging advanced networked technologies. The pace of accelerated transformation here never ceases to amaze me.
Dubai and the country of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) continue to set ambitious goals and then achieve them. Dubai has among the most efficient and busiest airports, longest metro transit systems, advanced road-tolls and highly digitized, smart government services underpinned by advanced broadband and mobile networks.
After meeting with local government and business leaders, I am not surprised about these rapid achievements. Public and private sector leaders here exude energy, enthusiasm and hospitality – and they know how to be decisive with timelines!
I am very excited that while here we were able to confirm with local officials the dates and venue for next year’s Internet of Things World Forum (IoTWF) in Dubai. We will be announcing that information soon. Bringing together IoT and Internet of Everything (IoE) industry leaders IoTWF is the ideal setting for thought leadership around the most significant advance in the history of technology – the connection of people, processes, data and things.
Business, government and other thought leaders I talked with in Dubai all recognized the value that can be captured from connecting the unconnected. Cisco Consulting Services calculates that the UAE can realize $53 billion of economic value over the next decade, and Dubai about $5 billion in the next five years by leveraging IoE-based solutions that digitize everything from buildings and transportation to energy and outdoor lighting.
We are very excited to be joining Dubai and the UAE on this journey of rapid growth and transformation.
This recent trip also extended into Saudi Arabia where leaders also are embracing the Inernet of Everything. For more, please click here.
Tags: Dubai, Internet of Things (IoT), InternetofEverything, Smart Connected Cities, Wim Elfrink
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), the largest economy in the Middle East, is universally recognized as the world’s largest producer and exporter of petroleum. In recent years, however, it has emerged as a visionary leader in leveraging networked technology, especially in developing a number of Smart City projects to attract business while controlling sprawl and congestion.
Cisco Consulting Services estimates that KSA alone can gain about $84 billion of total economic value from the Internet of Everything, which is the connection of people, processes, data and things. Nearly $16 billion of this is in the public sector, with profitability, cost savings and enhanced experiences coming from urban services such as smart street lighting, smart traffic management, mobile collaboration, chronic disease control, connected learning and healthcare, to name a few.
Globally, Cisco sees a total $19 trillion opportunity for both the public and private sectors.
Last week, I revisited Saudi Arabia for the 16th time in five years and saw first-hand its progress in developing Smart Cities, or what we at Cisco call, Smart + Connected Communities. I had the honor of participating in the Cityquest KAEC Forum, jointly organized by the King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) and New Cities Foundation, which assembled global thought leaders in some of the most advanced Smart City projects.
I had the pleasure of participating in an enthusiastic panel discussion on local and global urban innovations made possible by “Connecting Through Technology,” moderated by Andrew Sewer, journalist and former managing editor of Fortune Magazine.
As reported in The Arab News, Abdullatif A. Al-Othman, governor of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), kicked off the conference by emphasizing that public sector investments to diversify the economy are “… the most promising and significant in terms of job creation, technology transfer and exports development,” pointing to KAEC as a prime example.
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Tags: Internet of Things (IoT), InternetofEverything, kaec, new cities foundation, Smart City, Wim Elfrink
I blogged in an earlier posting about steps we are taking against Arista’s widespread and intentional use of Cisco’s cutting-edge and differentiating technology in their products. I want to provide an update about steps we’ve taken, as promised when we filed the initial action, to expedite what can be a long drawn out process.
Today, we have formally asked the US International Trade Commission for an injunction (in ITC parlance, an “exclusion order”) blocking Arista from importing and selling products that use Cisco’s patented technologies in the United States. The ITC is an independent agency with broad investigative responsibilities to protect innovators against importation of infringing products. As is typically the case with ITC actions, a consultative process with the ITC preceded these filings, a process we initiated when we filed our legal actions two weeks ago. Our ITC actions cover the same twelve patents we asserted in one of our district court cases. Our ITC actions are consistent with our commitment to do everything possible to expedite review of Arista’s illicit copying. The ITC generally acts more quickly than typically occurs in district court cases, which will help us in our efforts to obtain orders to stop Arista’s unlawful actions as quickly as possible.
One important point in both of these actions (the District Court filing, and now the ITC): our suit is only against Arista and not against any customer. Any suggestion that we will put our customers in the middle of this is not true. Arista’s customers are the victims of Arista’s infringement and copying.
We have no interest in making this a long, drawn out affair. We will move expeditiously to vindicate the principle that to succeed in technology, you need to innovate, not copy. That is why we filed our actions today in the ITC.
(Editor’s note: you can read complaint #1 here; complaint #2 is here)
Tags: arista, copying, infringement, intellectual property, International Trade Commission, ITC
I often joke with our customers and ask, “How many of you woke up this morning saying, ‘If I could only buy software defined networking (SDN) today, then my day would be complete.’” My point in asking this is to underscore that it’s not about the technology itself, but it’s about the benefits – or the outcomes – that this solution achieves which is what our customers want.
There’s no question that there’s a massive amount of market disruption occurring. Whether it’s economic shifts around the world, technology transitions we see with mobile, cloud, big data, analytics, security, SDN and the Internet of Everything (IoE), or the disruption of business models across every industry, our customers are facing a great deal of complexity coming at them fast – and all at the same time.
Whereas IT was once thought of as a necessary evil, customers I speak with today understand that technology will differentiate and transform their businesses amidst all of this complexity. CEOs understand that technology, at a minimum, must be a strategic enabler for their business, and ideally a strategic differentiator. They realize if they do not stay ahead, a competitor can – and will – disrupt them.
This leads to an incredible amount of pressure on CIOs, who are being asked to make IT decisions faster than ever. More than 70 percent of IT budget is spent keeping existing systems running, with 50 percent of IT budgets spent on labor alone. So how can they create more time to be both strategic partners and simultaneously play Chief Innovation Officer for their CEO and organization?
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