What does your brand say??

Hugh MacLeod, Gaping Void, puts forth what Stormhoek thinks their brand represents. Most of the points would be coherent for any start up company which believes in itself. Here are some points which I felt are very interesting.

3. We believe that even a small company like ours can change the world, even in a small way. Why shouldn’t a small wine company in South Africa see large international companies like Google and Microsoft as their competition? Why should the battle only be confined to other small South African vineyards? It makes no sense.

8. It’s just wine, People. Sure, we make excellent product. But let’s not get too carried away. At the end of the day, even the best Bordeaux is just fermented grape juice. What’s more interesting to us is the conversations people have over a bottle of wine. There’s a human element to all this we find utterly mysterious and fascinating.

9. You only live once, and not for very long. Try to make a difference while you’re here. It isn’t just about the money, and it sure as heck isn’t about making “a good product at a good price”. It’s about doing something that matters. It’s about doing something that resonates with both yourself and the people you care about.

10. We humans are incredible beings. Doing something that continually reminds us of this simple, basic truth is where the real fun is.

Corporate Blogging

I once had a discussion with a friend about the use of corporate blogging. I said it was a good for PR and feedback, he did not agree much. Well, whatever be the use, I am a great fan of the style of Jonathan Schwartz.

He admits in this post how his admin screwed up and apologises to Matt Mullenweg (the brilliant guy who brings us WordPress). Now I am sure that no PR department wrote or edited it but makes you feel that they listen. Meanwhile you can also watch his interesting interview with Scoble.

Babel: Don’t just listen

Just yesterday a colleague at work asked me to explain the significance of the movie title Babel. She had not liked the movie, me immensely. Anyways, that is not the point here.

I was checking out the Cisco official blog, a pretty nice one they have going there, and I came across these lines.

Cisco – We’ve been following our iPhone trademark issue in the blogosphere closely and it’s been interesting to see the commentary from some posters suggesting that somehow Cisco either in the US or Europe didn’t meet the requirements to maintain the iPhone trademark.

Jonathan – You might be listening, but you’re not understanding. (Babel)

Brought a nice little smile to my face. Also shows how seriously big companies take the blogosphere in todays world.

Cisco blogs about iPhone!!

Cisco has gone public with details of the iPhone deal with Apple Inc and seems to have made a good point for itself. This information comes directly from Mark Chandler, Cisco’s SVP and General Counsel. Also this comes on a coporate blog of Cisco which goes a long way to show the power blogging has in today’s world and how companies use it to manage its public relations. The post has excited a lot of bloggers and has won Cisco brownie points with them. Also if you read the post, it does blame Apple, but very subtly and in a corporate fashion, not a big deal coming from a senior counsel.

Also during negotiations with a certain vendor a few days ago the sales personnel there directed me to their corporate website for more information on their product. Way to go!! How I wish some people would listen.

I did some searching on this tussel myself this morning and summarised below are my findings.

The interesting thing here is that whereas Cisco (through acquisition of InfoGear) holds the trademark for “computer hardware and software for providing integrated telephone communication with computerized global information networks” (S.No. 75076573), Apple (through Ocean Telecom Services) holds the trademark for “handheld and mobile digital electronic devices…” and “hand-held unit for playing electronic games” (S.No. 77007808).

If you actually check out the description the Apple trademark is more specific to hand held mobile devices and it is not difficult to see why Apple is not too concerned about trademark infringement.

Google’s Patent Search

The inevitable has happened. Google has finally launched a patent search engine. You can check it out at http://www.google.com/patents

For long I had wished that Google gives a better patent search option, and it has finally happened. Complete with advanced search options including assignee, inventor, IPC classes, and date limitations it is gonna be one heck of a tool for prior art search. I hope it does normal language search more effectively than concept search on PatentCafe.

Though the jurisdiction coverage is currently limited to granted US patents only, I am sure it would not be long before it adds other major Patent Offices like EPO and WIPO to it and published applications/pre-grant publications.

I sure see some competition for us in the future and also for IP service providers like Thomson Scientific.

What I now want to see is a mashup which combines Google Patent Search and Google Spreadsheets & Docs. That would be so much fun!!

PS: The official post is at http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2006/12/now-you-can-search-for-us-patents.html.