Cisco Sues Apple Over Use of iPhone Name

Thanks to maash for posting this in BPN.

Cisco Systems Inc. has owned the name "iPhone" since 2000 and today announced that it is suing Apple Inc. in federal court. Cisco obtained the trademark by acquiring InfoGear Technology Corp. over 6 years ago, which originally registered the name. It has been three weeks since Cisco's Linksys division released a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone for which the trademark was put to use. Apple had tried to gain legal rights to use the iPhone name but upon failure chose to unveil their iPhone yesterday anyway, a touch-screen cell phone with music, video, web, voicemail and e-mail capabilities.

"Cisco entered into negotiations with Apple in good faith after Apple repeatedly asked permission to use Cisco's iPhone name. There is no doubt that Apple's new phone is very exciting, but they should not be using our trademark without our permission." said Mark Chandler, Cisco senior vice president and general counsel.

Link: Linksys iPhone | Apple iPhone
News source: Breitbart

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

2 Free Calls from Windows Live Messenger

Next Story

VeriSign Offers Hackers $8,000 Bounty on Vista, IE 7 Flaws

65 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

We all should just register i[insert word here] and make Apple pay to use the name should they choose to develop something along those lines.

:)

Apple needs to let this go. It is clear Cisco owns this trademark, and it is clear Apple KNEW Cisco owned the trademark since they had been in discussion with Cisco for so long.

This is just showing plain arrogance. With the back dating options and now this, makes you wonder what is going on with the ethics there.

Hmmm they might be able to get around it however. A trademark is filed under 'groups' of what it covers. I'm not 100% sure, but Cisco's trademark may cover an IP phone as a PC accesory, whereas Apples would cover cellular phone.

I'm not sure how specific the tags need to be in the USA, but i'm sure Apple hasn't just walked into this completely without thinking. Their legal team MUST be slightly more savy than that. I'm no fan of Apple, and I think their hardware is shoddy (and prone to breaking down quickly), but I just can't imagine that they've walked into a lawsuit so blind.

Also Apple owned the domain before Cisco purchased the company owning the name. It's arguable that Apple have been using the name since 1999 when they registered iphone.org, and therefore Cisco didn't protect their trademark, and Apple have been using it for longer than the 5 years needed to nullify the trademark.

(tiddlie said @ #33)
I'm not sure how specific the tags need to be in the USA, but i'm sure Apple hasn't just walked into this completely without thinking. Their legal team MUST be slightly more savy than that. I'm no fan of Apple, and I think their hardware is shoddy (and prone to breaking down quickly), but I just can't imagine that they've walked into a lawsuit so blind.
.

I disagree. They were in talks with Cisco, so its obvious they knew calling the product iPhone would be a problem.

I still find it funny though, especially since last year apple were suing people for having Pod in their name lol.

Gosh... They must be going bananas at Apple now

"Steve!!! Let's brainstorm!! We need a new 'catchy' i-Whatever-name... euh something like iRing, iTalk, iCall ... as long as it starts with an i!!!"

woeha!

oh the irony... a few months ago apple was suing everybody that put an 'i' before the name of the product, and now APPLE themselves are getting sued... oh, comedy.

Cyranthus said,
oh the irony... a few months ago apple was suing everybody that put an 'i' before the name of the product, and now APPLE themselves are getting sued... oh, comedy.

No they weren't.

From what I understand, Cisco ownes the trademark for iPhone in the USA only. Apple had been busy trademarking iPhone in the rest of the world. So apple could call it iPhone legally, but not the US Maybe Apple wanted to do a cross license deal with Cisco, but I'm sure Cisco wanted $$ for the use of their trademark in the US.

I don't think Cisco had any other choice. If they didn't sue, Apple could have grounds to claim Cisco were not defending their trademark. I'm sure Apple will settle with them on this.

jasondefaoite said,
From what I understand, Cisco ownes the trademark for iPhone in the USA only. Apple had been busy trademarking iPhone in the rest of the world. So apple could call it iPhone legally, but not the US Maybe Apple wanted to do a cross license deal with Cisco, but I'm sure Cisco wanted $$ for the use of their trademark in the US.

I don't think Cisco had any other choice. If they didn't sue, Apple could have grounds to claim Cisco were not defending their trademark. I'm sure Apple will settle with them on this.

Calling it 2 different names can cause issues and cost more money due to advertising.

That cisco phone will probably get 100 sales through it's market life. Apple should have looked this over though, dumb move. I hate the suing aspect of the world. Negotiations cannot ever happen outside the court, it's always sue sue sue.

It makes sense. People are complaining that Cisco (or in better terms Infogear/Linksys) purposely trademarked "iPhone" just to pee Apple off, when in fact it is the other way around. The iPhone trademark existed since 1997 (not 2000 like this article indicates), before the "i" concept was adopted by Apple Inc. (the iMac I believe was the first to use the "i" concept since 1998).

The iPhone trademark existed long before iPods became popular, so I doubt there is any premeditated motive behind the acquisition of such a trademark by InfoGear Technology Corp. Hey you Apple...Hahaha...charade you are! Trying to keep our feelings off the street! You are merely a treat, but really are a cry!

I thought apple was in negotiations with Cisco over this? If you're in negotations and the product hasn't been released yet how do you sue? just seems dumb to me...

iPhone is not the only thing Apple has "browed" from other companies... take a look at this video...

and thats not all, there's about 6 different patents I can recall ATM developed at MS Research that are quite "similar" to what Apple showed at its keynote... you can expect more llawsuits down the line... :P

evo_spook said,
I doubt it, try checking out multiple OSX and Vista videos, theres a lot more that MS has knicked then vica versa

Care to explain? Oh let me see...

Gadgets? Sorry those weren't invented by apple
Sidebar? Nor was that...

Vienna has been in development since 1999, at least some of its technologies, and most of those techs have made it into Vista.

So really, Apple has copied more from MS than the other way around.

Shadowdruid said,

Care to explain? Oh let me see...

Gadgets? Sorry those weren't invented by apple
Sidebar? Nor was that...

Vienna has been in development since 1999, at least some of its technologies, and most of those techs have made it into Vista.

So really, Apple has copied more from MS than the other way around.

I fail to see where there is anything regarding OS X or Windows in the news story. Keep your Apple vs Windows discussion out.

They must have thought it through carefully, and reckon they'll get off better than if they continued talking with Cisco. Methinks they're one step ahead of the average person who replies to news items.

Exactamundo!

Trust me, you should because I know.

Apple have pre-planned this. Anyone who guesses otherwise is very comfortably wrong and should STFU.

LOL , I was looking a Skype phones from Linksys last week and noticed the iPhone brand from Linksys/Cisco , then was think about the rumors of Apple and their to be released iPhone product.

In My opinion Cisco purposely took that name, so Apple couldn't use.

But I guess Apple didn't protect that name first.

I hope Cisco wins I like Mac's but not nessecarily iPod or Apple iPod's are evil little money sucking machines
designed to make the RIAA & Steve Jobs rich and you poor.

I am a Cisco fan, Cisco makes me money since I install & configure Cisco networking equipment everyday for work :/

Cisco acquired the name from purchasing Linksys. Hardly Cisco taking the name so Apple couldn't use it. And how is the iPod a little money sucking machine. You don't have to buy one. You don't have to buy from iTunes. You don't even have to buy a Mac to use one. It does make Steve Jobs richer but not the RIAA. The RIAA would love for Apple to push the iTunes Store prices up but Apple wont do it.

xpablo said,
...iPod's are evil little money sucking machines
designed to make the RIAA & Steve Jobs rich and you poor.

Welcome to today's consumerist society!

Apple won't do it! Of course, they aren't doing to be nice guys, it'd be suicide if they sold songs for more than $.99 when everyone else is.

Seeing as the product hasn't been introduced (or gone through the FCC yet), I wonder if Apple could dodge any legal issues by calling it something else.

ninjakarl said,
I was under the impression that Apple and Linksys had an agreement of some sort. That's atleast what it said on the iPhone wiki page
They were in talks, but no one had officially signed anything, that was prior to Apple announcing the iPhone. Because Apple went ahead and announced the iPhone before officially agreeing to any agreement with Cisco.

I think Cisco has ever right to sue Apple if Apple was arrogant enough to go ahead and announce the iPhone without Cisco's final consent.