From Ethernet to TelePresence, Cisco Hits 10,000-Patent Milestone

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2013-07-15 Print this article Print

In 1992, Cisco Systems was awarded its first patent, for the Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, which was designed to improve the efficiency in routing communications among computer networks. According to Pankaj Patel, executive vice president and chief development officer at Cisco, the patent—no. 5,088,032—helped lay the foundation for the emergence of the Internet. Recently—and 21 years later—Cisco was awarded its 10,000th patent, no. 8,478,859. That patent creates a simple and accurate way to indicate presence, enabling end users to determine the best way to communicate with others. "This is another proof point that speaks to Cisco's future vision for the Internet of Everything," Patel wrote in a July 9 post on the company blog. "Each and every Cisco patent is a valuable and a unique technical contribution in its own right and the portfolio includes important building blocks of our innovative products and services, from our core routing and switching products to TelePresence, our Unified Computing System, the Catalyst Switch 6500 Series, WebEx, to name just a few examples." Cisco's products reach from the data center to the conference room to the smartphone. In this slide show, eWEEK highlights some of the key areas where the vendor has focused its patents push. The information is from Cisco.

  • From Ethernet to TelePresence, Cisco Hits 10,000-Patent Milestone

    By Jeffrey Burt
    0-From Ethernet to TelePresence, Cisco Hits 10,000-Patent Milestone
  • Cisco Pushes a Corporate Culture That Encourages Patents

    The company has an annual internal "April Fools" patent contest, where employees cast their votes for everything from "Most Humorous Patent" and "Most Likely to Be Granted" to "Best Use of Cisco Technology." Cisco officials say the company earns almost 1,000 patents a year through this contest.
    1-Cisco Pushes a Corporate Culture That Encourages Patents
  • Creating Patents for Ethernet

    Forty years after Bob Metcalfe and David Boggs at Xerox PARC developed it, Ethernet has become a ubiquitous networking system. Cisco officials estimate that about 90 percent of all the world's devices are connected with Ethernet. Integral to the implementation of IEEE 802.3, Cisco patents create a protocol that handles the dynamic aggregation of redundant links between nodes/devices.
    2-Creating Patents for Ethernet
  • Cisco Innovation in the Wireless World

    The company's patents that relate to Cisco Lightweight Access Points (LAPs) handle time-sensitive functions, enabling Cisco WLANs to securely support voice, video and data applications, as well as reduce the management footprint for access points in a wireless network system. The innovations make it easier for users to go between floors, buildings and campuses without needing to "re-plug."
    3-Cisco Innovation in the Wireless World
  • Cisco and the Internet of Everything

    Cisco executives say the Internet of Everything—not just connected devices like smartphones, tablets and laptops, but also people, processes and data—will be a game-changer for businesses. This year alone it will bring in more than $613 billion in profits worldwide, and $14.4 trillion by 2020. The Internet of Everything also will include systems—such as gas pumps, cars, railroad tracks and smart meters—that will need to be always on, and in all weather conditions. Cisco offers more than 10 Route Policy Language (RPL) patents that provide robust networking protocols for large-scale and secure implementation in harsh environments.
    4-Cisco and the Internet of Everything
  • Designing for the Mobile Internet

    According to Cisco, global mobile traffic in 2012 grew 70 percent, thanks in large part to the increased use of mobile devices and the growing speed of wireless networks. The company holds patents that enable leading global service providers to offer prepaid network services in a data network.
    5-Designing for the Mobile Internet
  • Enhancing Communications Through TelePresence

    Cisco holds more than 250 patents related to video-based connections that enable people to meet face-to-face over long distances. About 90 percent of Fortunate 500 companies currently deploy the vendor's TelePresence systems.
    6-Enhancing Communications Through TelePresence
  • Cisco's Expansion in the Data Center

    Cisco's efforts to transform from a networking vendor into a data center solutions provider can be seen in its 4-year-old Unified Computing System (UCS), a single system that integrates the company's networking and server technology, along with storage and virtualization products from partners. Cisco's patents help eliminate repetition in the data center and cover the virtual routing environment, which is key to the UCS. Cisco has become the world's third-largest blade server vendor, with more than 23,000 customers globally.
    7-Cisco's Expansion in the Data Center
  • Cisco Patents Help Stream Video

    Cisco's more than 80 MPEG patents enable 1 trillion minutes (or 2.5 million years) of video to stream to any user device, from set-top boxes and desktops to smartphones and tablets.
    8-Cisco Patents Help Stream Video
  • Protecting Against Problems

    In the company's Catalyst 6000 Series switches, a Cisco patent ensures that one or more applications running on a network device will keep running in the event of crashes or failures.
    9-Protecting Against Problems
  • Cisco and the Software-Defined Network Movement

    The Cisco Open Network Environment (ONE) is designed to bring greater programmability to all parts of the networks. To help with this, Cisco engineers created a patented technology that identifies the best paths to a destination at a node, and then determines how much traffic to send over and to where. The patent was co-invented by Cisco engineers David Ward and J.P. Vasseur, each of whom holds more than 100 patents.
    10-Cisco and the Software-Defined Network Movement

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