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Cisco CEO John Chambers at Gartner Conference: Patent System is a Mess, We Should Start Over


Today at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, Cisco’s legendary Chairman and CEO John Chambers joined the recent chorus of heavyweights, like Steve Wozniak and Judge Richard Posner, condemning the out of control patent system.   He even went as far as to chastise his industry peers engaged in offensive patent litigation.  When the head of Ciscoa company with thousands of patents and a strong believer in robust IP protectioncalls for the current patent system to be scrapped and re-envisioned, our nation’s policymakers should take notice.

For context see Patrick Thibodeau’s article in Computer World.  Snippet below:

On the subject of intellectual property, Chambers is critical of the U.S. patent process and said he would “completely throw out everything, and start from the beginning.

“It is a mess; There are patent trolls everywhere,” said Chambers, noting that patent problems impose huge costs on every company.

But Chambers was also critical of the trend by tech companies of suing one another over alleged patent violations. He didn’t name names, but, speaking to the audience, he said for “his peers” in the room, “you shouldn’t be suing your peers.”

Patent litigation, he added, slows down innovation.


Intellectual Property

The Internet enables the free exchange of ideas and content that, in turn, promote creativity, commerce, and innovation. However, a balanced approach to copyright, trademarks, and patents is critical to this creative and entrepreneurial spirit the Internet has fostered. Consequently, it is our belief that the intellectual property system should encourage innovation, while not impeding new business models and open-source developments.