Cisco Sued Because of Employee Blogging

Don’t mess with lawyers, and especially don’t poke fun at them for bad behavior or allege that they may have committed improprieties with a court. You’d think Richard Frenkel, a fellow lawyer, would understand this rule, but the Cisco IP director still attacked a few patent lawyers in a blog called Patent Troll Tracker. He and Cisco are now part of a lawsuit alleging defamation.

Cisco and Frenkel were sued by two Texas lawyers who disliked information about them posted on the site. And, because lawyers are not known for their meek behavior, they also sued Cisco because Frenkel’s boss was aware he was writing the site. Cisco is standing behind Frenkel for now while still trying to make the clear distinction that an employee blog is just that–an employee’s blog. Update: Cisco today has amended its blogging policy to require employees disclose their Cisco affiliation if the blog topic is relevant to the work they do for the company.

The fun of watching lawyers duke it out in the courts aside, the alleged (note the “alleged,” I’m not aiming to get a subpoena) improper behavior in the Eastern District of Texas and a recent jurisdiction decision from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit makes me wonder if Marshall, Texas, might soon lose its luster as a great venue for patent suits.


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