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

0-From Ethernet to TelePresence, Cisco Hits 10,000-Patent Milestone
1-Cisco Pushes a Corporate Culture That Encourages Patents
2-Creating Patents for Ethernet
3-Cisco Innovation in the Wireless World
4-Cisco and the Internet of Everything
5-Designing for the Mobile Internet
6-Enhancing Communications Through TelePresence
7-Cisco's Expansion in the Data Center
8-Cisco Patents Help Stream Video
9-Protecting Against Problems
10-Cisco and the Software-Defined Network Movement
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From Ethernet to TelePresence, Cisco Hits 10,000-Patent Milestone

By Jeffrey Burt

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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.

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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.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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