Like many in the tech industry, I closely followed the recent Apple-Samsung litigation and believe that the case will have meaningful implications for years to come. What I find most interesting is not the jury’s decision – which could have gone either way for purposes of this commentary – but the underlying premise of this case, which is exactly the type of issue our patent system was designed to handle. I can even picture Thomas Jefferson, our nation’s first Commissioner of Patents, sitting in his study at Monticello, reading about the case on his iPhone and texting a note to Judge Koh congratulating her for her conduct of the case.
This case involved two companies with competing products, and each believed they had intellectual property that should exclude the other from participating within their marketplace. More importantly however, at least some of the patents being litigated were essential to the products’ design. In other words, they were inherently the reason that consumers would want to buy those specific products. This important concept – that true innovation must be tied to consumer preference – played out in a court of law, in front of a jury, and in a way that will have great significance for how the marketplace treats companies that innovate. Unfortunately, this is a far cry from a majority of patent litigation we see in our system today.
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Tags: Apple, general counsel, litigation, patent, Patent Trade Office, samsung
When I demonstrated Cisco’s newest network management technologies in my keynote address at Cisco Live last week, there were gasps and applause from the audience as they saw the difference between our next generation technology and the technology our competitors are touting as ‘good enough’.
The technologies I demonstrated (Cisco Prime, UCS Manager and the Cisco Virtual Switching System) are the great results of the more than $5 billion that Cisco invests in R&D on an annual basis. Cisco spends more on R&D than all of our networking industry peers combined and, for the record, we invest five times more (on a percentage of revenue basis) than the next largest networking vendor.
However, what’s more important than the size of our R&D budget is its impact and I’m proud to say that the Patent Board today recognized Cisco as the #1 innovator among 141 companies in its annual Telecom and Communications industry scorecard. Cisco ranked #1 for both the number of patents granted, as well as for the overall strength of the company’s patent portfolio, which is a combined measure of quality and quantity.
That’s a tremendous accomplishment, and I am very proud of our fantastically talented engineers. Credit is particularly due to Cisco Senior Vice President of Research and Advanced Development, Joel Bion, for his tremendous leadership of our R&D efforts. As I often say, great engineers make innovation look easy.
To our customers the message is also clear: whether it’s the 500 patents earned by the recently refreshed Catalyst 6500 (the world’s most popular switching platform) or those awarded in the creation of our ground-breaking Cisco Cius enterprise collaboration tablet, world-beating innovation is something you can always expect from Cisco.
You can find a comprehensive analysis of the Patent Board’s latest Telecom and Communications industry scorecard in the Wall Street Journal (password required).
Tags: Catalyst 6500, cisco prime, Cisco Virtual Switching System, patent, Research and Development, UCS Manager
Cisco continues to hold the top spot as “#1 Innovator in the Telecom & Communications industry” in The Patent Board scorecard released this week.
According to a release issued by The Patent Board, “Cisco holds a comfortable lead over the industry, and had a patent count increase of 10%, well above the 8.3% industry average increase.”
On their website, The Patent Board says the scorecard “ranks corporate innovation using a series of metrics to determine patent quality, technological strength and breadth of impact.”
Cisco’s Managing Director of Intellectual Property Dan Lang says:
“We’re very proud of Cisco’s reputation as an innovator. Cisco continues to invest heavily in research and development, and the new statistics from The Patent Board indicate the breadth and quality of our innovation.”
Tags: innovation, patent, Research and Development