Business

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Anonymous Blogger Gets Cisco into Legal Trouble

May 16, 2008 12:53 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
A popular anonymous blogger turned out to be the in-house patent counsel at Internet infrastructure giant Cisco. Now both blogger and employer face defamation lawsuits.

30-Second Summary

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The blog, Troll Tracker, covered the controversial subject of “patent trolls,” which, according to Business Week, is “a derogatory term used to describe businesses that make money by purchasing patents and then suing big companies for infringement.”

The unknown individual behind Troll Tracker developed a following in patent law circles. But little did his fans know that he was Rick Frenkel, in-house patent counsel at Cisco.

After he revealed his identity, repercussions were swift.

Frenkel still works for Cisco, but both parties are facing defamation lawsuits.

The Cisco case is a good example of employee bloggers who get not only themselves, but also the companies they work for, in trouble.

In February, employee bloggers at the New York law firm Skadden Arps were asked to remove the results of their “Hottest Female Attorney” contest when higher-ups said the contest “does not reflect our values and standards of behavior.”

There are many other examples, leading some employers to crack down on employee blogs.

“As Troll Tracker's case demonstrates, in the rough-and-tumble blogosphere, conversations on even mundane topics like patent law can quickly spiral into vituperation and personal attacks,” reports Business Week.

Headline Link: ‘Busting a Rogue Blogger’

Opinions & Analysis: Blog, but with caution

Related Topics: Be careful what you post

Reference: Troll Tracker, Skadden Insider and starting your own blog

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