Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 10th Jan 2007 23:53 UTC, submitted by danB
Legal Cisco has sued Apple over the use of the 'iPhone' brand. "Cisco today announced that it has filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California against Apple, Inc., seeking to prevent Apple from infringing upon and deliberately copying and using Cisco's registered iPhone trademark."
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They must be prepared for it
by tristan on Thu 11th Jan 2007 00:17 UTC
tristan
Member since:
2006-02-01

This story is also carried by the BBC[1], which points out that Cisco has owned the trademark since 2000, and that Cisco brand Linksys released an internet phone called the iPhone just a couple of weeks ago.

Now anyone who's tried to use the word "pod" in a product knows how fanatical Apple are about their trademarks. There's no possible way that they could have missed this, and yet they went ahead with the launch. This means that

a) They're willing to pay Cisco a lot of money for either ownership or licence of the trademark

b) They're going to fight it in court, most probably by trying to argue all names of the form "iAnything" belong to Apple.

If it's (a), it raises the question of why they didn't do this prior to the announcement, to avoid all this unpleasant publicity.

If it's (b), then that's a very scary prospect indeed.



[1] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6250511.stm

Reply Score: 5

RE: They must be prepared for it
by vimh on Thu 11th Jan 2007 00:22 in reply to "They must be prepared for it"
vimh Member since:
2006-02-04

It's only scary if the judge sided with Apple. Otherwise it's funny in that Apple is out of its mind.

I think it's a. That still leads me to think Apple is out of its mind.

I'd like to know what Ciscos terms were.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: They must be prepared for it
by tomcat on Thu 11th Jan 2007 00:28 in reply to "They must be prepared for it"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06


a) They're willing to pay Cisco a lot of money for either ownership or licence of the trademark

b) They're going to fight it in court, most probably by trying to argue all names of the form "iAnything" belong to Apple.

If it's (a), it raises the question of why they didn't do this prior to the announcement, to avoid all this unpleasant publicity.

If it's (b), then that's a very scary prospect indeed.


My guess is that it's (a). Although Apple should be very concerned bcause there's no limit to how much Cisco could demand, I think that Apple is going to throw some big money at the problem and try to make it go away. Apple could always argue that it never intended to use "iPhone"; that it was merely a codeword for their product, not the eventual product name, if negotiations with Cisco fall apart. Just a guess.

Reply Parent Score: 1

tspears Member since:
2006-05-22

b) They're going to fight it in court, most probably by trying to argue all names of the form "iAnything" belong to Apple.

what about Novell, they have iFolder, iPrint, iManager, and the like... I don't think you can patent or claim IP on a nomenclature system.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Or, it's all planned by Apple and Cisco. Big hooplah, they settle, both companies get a lot of free advertising.

Mmm, black helicopters...

Reply Parent Score: 1

mcduck Member since:
2005-11-23

Or, it's all planned by Apple and Cisco. Big hooplah, they settle, both companies get a lot of free advertising.

Or, Cisco releases a MP3 player named iPod.

Reply Parent Score: 2

tristan Member since:
2006-02-01

Or, it's all planned by Apple and Cisco. Big hooplah, they settle, both companies get a lot of free advertising.

Mmm, black helicopters...


Given that this news has negatively affected Apple's share price (which anyone could have predicted), I think such action would probably be illegal. Not that Steve Jobs seems to care much about the legalities of share dealing, of course.

Also, it's not like Apple need any more publicity for this thing: it was on the front of national newspapers here today, for goodness' sake. And this doesn't exactly make them look good.

Having thought about it, I think it's most likely that they expected to be sued, and will try to use the court case to extract some reasonable licensing terms out of Cisco. I don't know enough about US trademark law though to know whether a judge can force such a thing however.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: They must be prepared for it
by smashIt on Thu 11th Jan 2007 00:37 in reply to "They must be prepared for it"
smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

b) They're going to fight it in court, most probably by trying to argue all names of the form "iAnything" belong to Apple.

the only problem is that ciscos iPhone-brand dates back 2 years before the first iMac
If someone copied the "i-Brand" it's apple

Reply Parent Score: 5

atsureki Member since:
2006-03-12

the only problem is that ciscos iPhone-brand dates back 2 years before the first iMac
If someone copied the "i-Brand" it's apple


Stop, reverse.

Cisco trademark is 2000, first iMac is 1998 (iMovie is 1999, iPod and iTunes are 2001, iPhoto 2002 -- thanks, Wikipedia) and Cisco's iPhone came out a few months ago, tops, so Apple could easily make a strong case that iThings are their brand.

Still, it doesn't look great for Apple. From Steve Jobs's own mouth, the iPhone had been in development for two and a half years, not seven, and Cisco got their allegedly intelligent phone out the door first.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: They must be prepared for it
by minio on Thu 11th Jan 2007 00:50 in reply to "They must be prepared for it"
minio Member since:
2006-05-14

b) They're going to fight it in court, most probably by trying to argue all names of the form "iAnything" belong to Apple.
You mean like "iDiot"?

Reply Parent Score: 5