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Patent Fees Should Cover PTO Expenses

Last year’s America Invents Act made major changes to our patent system, largely designed to improve Patent Office operations, reduce the backlog of applications, and the quality of patents.  A properly functioning Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) is vital both to speedy review of patents applied for by companies like Cisco, to weeding out applications that shouldn’t result in patents, and reviewing issued patents to make sure they’re not defective.  Yesterday, the PTO set out a framework to help determine fees for using the services of the PTO going forward.  While there was a lot of disagreement among various industry groups over various provisions of the patent reform legislation, most agreed on one thing at least: the fees paid by users of the PTO should cover the cost of the services the PTO provides, and the fees, once paid, should actually be available to the PTO to provide those services and not diverted to other purposes.

The PTO’s proposal yesterday fulfills the goals of the America Invents Act.  Most important, that proposal is neutral, providing special advantages or imposing special burdens neither on large applicants like Cisco (we apply for over 700 patents per year) nor on smaller applicants who may have very few applications.  It  makes clear that the higher costs of initial review of patent applications should be reflected in the fees paid, to avoid cross-subsidization among different services, and that applicants should have a choice as to the type of processing desired.  The presentation of alternative approaches should lead to a healthy discussion to help the PTO choose the best approach.  Either of the approaches is a big step forward from where we were before the AIA.  The bottom line is that there’s no free lunch, and no free patent process either.    We hope users of the patent office large and small will work together to get a fair and usable result that will lead to the benefits the new law was designed to bring about.

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Cisco: Helping Our Customers Innovate

As we all know, the world is changing at networked speeds and organizations need an IT partner that can help lead them through these challenges. Cisco is that partner.

To help further communicate this, we recently launched our new brand and advertising campaign. This campaign is to showcase that our true value is in what we make possible for customers with our innovative networking technology.  Our company strategy starts and ends with customer success. As such, the ongoing campaign will highlight Cisco customers and the ways that Cisco’s intelligent network empowers their business with new, more effective ways to connect, exchange ideas and innovate.

IMHO, Cisco is uniquely positioned to help our customers solve their most important business challenges. Our strengths are many: beginning with engineering depth and expertise, an ecosystem of partners, a passion for networking, and culminating in our vast experience at building and delivering Intelligent Networks that unleash business potential.  It’s our rich portfolio transformational business solutions that help CEOs and CIO/CTOs achieve greater innovation and momentum.

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Cisco Community for Connected Health Summit – Where the power of healthcare innovators meet the power of Cisco’s ingenuity

Is your healthcare organization doing everything it can to improve productivity while delivering the best possible patient care?  Join us at the Community for Connected Health Summit at HIMSS12 as we bring together healthcare innovators and Cisco specialists into a single forum of networking, education, and best practice sharing, all focused on the very latest innovations improving healthcare delivery. You’ll be the first to hear about breakthrough solutions available today — and what’s on the horizon for tomorrow.  Read More »

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New Ways of Working on the Horizon

Recent articles  indicate that manufacturing activity in the U.S. continues to expand and  global industrial production  is  positive in spite of softness in a few geographies. This is a great rebound from the trough of 2009.  Productivity gains have  fueled much of the recent rebound and leading companies are looking for more. Several years ago a leading manufacturing company, GE, asked Cisco to develop a new collaborative environment for distributed teams.

Leaders have implemented new  working environments, such as the  Cisco Active Collaboration Room.  Now there is a movement to bring  forward the next environment for team productivity, rapid decision making, and distributed collaboration. The development of  new  working environments will accelerate, driven by a need to enable  distributed teams for innovation, business management, and optimization. As mobility and the benefits of  rapid analysis and decision making increase, the work environments will change dramatically as described in the Fortune magazine article,  What will the future workplace look like?” Read More »

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Companion Screens Transforming the TV Experience

By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

Pop quiz: How many screens does it take to watch television programming? For a growing number of people, the answer is two — a TV, plus a media tablet or mobile smartphone. That may seem counterintuitive, but for many of us (present company included) a mobile “companion” device has become an essential part of the living room TV experience.

According to a Nielsen survey of 12,000 connected device owners, 70 percent of tablet owners and 68 percent of smartphone owners use their devices while watching TV. Tablet owners in particular seem unable to put down the iPad while flipping channels, with respondents saying that nearly a third of the time they spend using their device is in front of the TV.

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