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Cisco's Blog Disclaimer

4:30 PM -- Now that it's gotten sued, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) is making employees put disclaimers on their blogs.

No more blogging anonymously, az the author of Patent Troll Tracker (now invitation-only) did at first. Blogs relating to Cisco's operations must state that the author is a Cisco employee and that Cisco doesn't necessarily share the opinions put forth.

There's an extra wrinkle: Cisco employees can no longer circulate links to an employee-written blog without identifying the author as a fellow employee. Apparently, staffers who knew the Patent Troll Tracker author helped spread the word without giving away his identity.

All this stems from Rick Frenkel coming out as Patent Troll Tracker's author. He and Cisco both got sued by a couple of angry attorneys as a result. (See Cisco Snared in Patent Blog Suits.)

What's interesting, especially for a big company that's under litigation, is that Cisco's own blog entry goes on to explain its miscues in the Frenkel case:

"Given that Rick worked on intellectual property matters for Cisco, Rick’s relationship to Cisco should have been made clear, and Cisco takes responsibility for the content of the blog."


and

"These shortcomings began innocently — with Rick’s desire for personal anonymity and Cisco employees’ desire to disseminate useful information while respecting Rick’s anonymity. But eventually this opened the door for a perception that Cisco somehow had something to hide."
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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