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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Cisco Systems, Google, Adobe, Microsoft and Apple

CHICAGO, Feb. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include the Cisco Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:CSCO-Free Report), Google Inc. (Nasdaq:GOOG-Free Report), Adobe (Nasdaq:ADBE-Free Report), Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq:MSFT-Free Report) andApple Inc. (Nasdaq:AAPL-Free Report).

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Here are highlights from Thursday's Analyst Blog:

Cisco, Google Ink Cross-Licensing Deal

In order to avert expensive patent litigations, Cisco Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:CSCO-Free Report) entered into a long-term patent cross-licensing agreement with Google Inc. (Nasdaq:GOOG-Free Report). However, the details of the agreement, which was announced earlier this week, were not disclosed by either of the companies. The deal was described as a "cross-licensing agreement covering a broad range of products and technologies."

As a result, Google and Cisco have granted each other perpetual licensing rights that remain even if the patent is subsequently sold off. The agreement is intended to oppose the patent deals of other firms that have engaged in "patent privateering."

At times, technology companies transfer their patents to a patent assertion entity, which is not bound by the same laws and is therefore able to extract bigger licensing fees from competitors. These entities, or patent trolls as they are called, engage in significant litigation that wastes time and money of the competitors. This process is referred to as privateering.

Both Cisco and Google are part of an alliance called the Coalition for Patent Fairness that seeks to minimize litigation between technology companies and thereby devote more energy to innovation. Samsung, Dell and Adobe (Nasdaq:ADBE-Free Report) are other major players that have joined this coalition.

On the one hand, this deal ensures that neither party will use these patents to litigate against each other, while on the other it ensures that no other party can use these patents to litigate against them.

That is a direct attack on tech firms that are part of the Rockstar Consortium, including Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq:MSFT-Free Report) andApple Inc. (Nasdaq:AAPL-Free Report) that try to impose patents and are involved in multiple patent litigations.

Cisco, a San-Jose based company founded in 1984, designs, produces and sells Internet protocol (IP) and other networking equipment to the information technology industry worldwide.

For Cisco, its focus on cross-licensing comes after a number of high-profile fights against shell companies that abuse the patent system while for Google, it is the second cross-licensing deal after the one with Samsung.

Currently, Cisco holds a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) while Google carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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