Everyone knew this move had to be coming. While Apple may
have popularized the little "i" with products like iMac, iBook, iPod, iTunes and iLife,
the iPhone name has already been taken. Cisco has owned the trademark for
iPhone since 2000 when it was purchased from Infogear. Infogear originally
filed for the trademark in 1996 (well before Apple jumped into the
"i" business). Cisco just recently ushered the name into service with
a new line of VoIP
devices marketed by Cisco's Linksys division.
Although Apple and Cisco have been in talks for quite some time over the iPhone name, no agreement was ever reached. Nevertheless, Apple boldly decided yesterday to announce the iPhone
at MacWorld. Cisco isn't too happy about the move and has filed a lawsuit
against Apple, Inc.
"Cisco entered into negotiations with Apple in good
faith after Apple repeatedly asked permission to use Cisco's iPhone name,"
said Mark Chandler, senior vice president and general counsel for Cisco.
"There is no doubt that Apple's new phone is very exciting, but they
should not be using our trademark without our permission."
Cisco isn't going down without a fight on this one and it
intends to fully protect its line of iPhone products. "Today's iPhone is
not tomorrow's iPhone. The potential for convergence of the home phone, cell
phone, work phone and PC is limitless, which is why it is so important for us
to protect our brand," said Chandler.