Apple's iPhone may soon be called something else

Cisco Systems Inc. this week announced that its negotiations with Apple Inc. over the "iPhone" trademark will be extended to February 21st. The companies have actually discussed the iPhone name for the past several years but came to no conclusions. In January, Cisco filed a lawsuit against Apple after Apple announced its mobile phone using the "iPhone" name. Cisco has agreed to give Apple an extension until Wednesday, February 21, 2007. According to Cisco:
Apple has asked Cisco for another extension on the deadline for Apple to respond to our lawsuit. Cisco has agreed to give Apple an extension until Wednesday, Feb. 21. Cisco is fully committed to using the extra time to reach a mutually beneficial resolution.
Legally, Cisco is the rightful owner of the "iPhone" trademark, which it has owned since 2000. Prior to Cisco, the trademark was owned by a company called Infogear, which Cisco later purchased. Interestingly, Infogear had sold products using the "iPhone" trademark for several years before being acquired by Cisco.

Late last year, Cisco's consumer division Linksys announced a line of VoIP phones based on the "iPhone" trademark. The phones were Wi-Fi phones with a built-in Skype interface. Apple later argued that its own iPhone was a true mobile phone and the first one in the world to use the "iPhone" trademark. When Cisco filed for the lawsuit, Apple called Cisco's actions "silly."

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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