Another Day, Another Lawsuit: Apple On The Hotseat

lynksys iphoneBy David Ponce

Didn’t even take a day and Apple managed to get itself sued. Here’s what happened.

Apple doesn’t own the rights to the name “iPhone”. Cisco does. They acquired the rights back in 2000, when they bought Infogear, a small Redwood City, Calif., start-up and now use the name through a Lynksys line of VoIP handsets. Up until 8PM, Monday evening, Cisco and Apple representatives were in negotiations over the use of the name. Seems Cisco was (reluctantly) open to letting Apple use the name, but only if they made their iPhone compatible with Cisco products.

Cisco made it clear they did not want Apple to announce the phone until negotiations were done. So, of course, on Tuesday, the iPhone is announced.

Not even a day later, and Cisco’s filed a lawsuit seeking temporary injunction against Apple to stop them using the name, and seeking damages. Apple’s defense? “Plenty other companies use the name, and Cisco’s claim to it is ‘tenuous at best'”.

Them’s fighting words, Apple…

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3 thoughts on “Another Day, Another Lawsuit: Apple On The Hotseat”

  1. Intellectual property is the lifeblood of Silicon Valley and we all have to protect our property. As everyone now knows, the iPhone trademark is owned by Cisco. We (Cisco) had hoped to reach an agreement to share our trademark with Apple, yet they decided to use the name without our agreement, so we, unfortunately, are having to go to court to stop them from using the name. We still hope we can reach an agreement, but when your neighbor steals your property, you have no recourse other than to call the cops and file a complaint. Full Cisco statement at: ml

    For a tick-tock and more rationale for the suit, please read our SVP and General Counsel Mark Chandler’s blog entry here: os_iphone_tradem.html

    He states, in part, “this is not a suit against Apple’s innovation, their modern design, or their cool phone. It is not a suit about money or royalties. This is a suit about trademark infringement.”

  2. I hate the name iPhone as I stated in a previous post, this makes me happy. 🙂
    Apply needs to hire people to come up with better names. Like “Zune” .. now thats cool. Way to go Microsoft!

  3. I agree with mike, theonly dissapointment I felt when the ‘iphone’ was introduced (aside from not investing in apple stock) was with their chosen name. the whole ‘i’ thing has been way overdone, not just by apple, or the tech industry, but on a global scale. I think everybody is sick of it. Apple should not go to the trouble of pursuing this case with cisco, I feel they were on the right track changing the name ‘iTV’ to ‘apple logo tv’. I think it would have been a cool thing to do the same thing with the iphone and replace the ‘i’ with an apple logo. It’s sorta like prince! “the phone formally known as iPhone” haha, could work?

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