Musing: On using the word Cisco or CCIE in your blog title

If you choose to name your blog with any word that is trademarked by a big company, you are asking for trouble. Eventually the company lawyers will have a quiet period (or a new starter) and look around for something to do (and thus justify their existence) and start chasing down trademark names on the Internet. So when Cisco starts chasing down your “Cisco, CCIE, CCNP, CCNA, CCSP etc” blog, I’m not surprised, except to ask, “Why did it take this long ?”.

The Legal System makes you defend your name

It’s also part of the legal system to defend your trademark. If you don’t then the court can be convinced that you didn’t really care about it over a period of time and therefore you aren’t entitled to the trademark. Therefore, companies have to pursue those who abuse their trademarks or forfeit their rights.

Free hits

When you get 600 000 hits a month (reference) just by having a good name, you would have to pleased with yourself. However, you didn’t create and build that name, you just stole someone else’s work.

The EtherealMind View

My blog doesn’t have anyone’s name in title for exactly this reason. Companies can own certain words, colour (Cisco owns the colour “Cisco Teal” and Coke owns “Coca Cola Red” etc) and slogans (too many to list). Attempting to rip off the “branding” in the name is a bit like theft, and more than a little dishonest. Cisco lists all the words it “owns” here.

Secondly, Cisco may not be around forever. Hard to consider today but if Nortel can go to the wall, then Cisco can too. I’ve seen it happen to large companies a few times over the last twenty years and can see signs that Cisco isn’t in perfect shape. It’s a good bet that your working career will last longer than any manufacturer (especially in IT). I don’t want to be stuck with a name of a dead company.

If you are considering a blog then use words that aren’t “owned” by someone. Packetlife, routerfreak, packetloss are all examples of good names. EtherealMind was my choice (and here is why

About Greg Ferro

Greg Ferro is a Network Engineer/Architect, mostly focussed on Data Centre, Security Infrastructure, and recently Virtualization. He has over 20 years in IT, in wide range of employers working as a freelance consultant including Finance, Service Providers and Online Companies. He is CCIE#6920 and has a few ideas about the world, but not enough to really count.

He is a host on the Packet Pushers Podcast, blogger at and on Twitter @etherealmind and Google Plus

You can contact Greg via the site contact page.

  • Stuart Howlette

    Hmm let me think, “Working From My Shed”, I may be sued by some DIY store, but I think I’m protected against Cisco trademarks. Hopefully.

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