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Judge may rule that the term "iPhone" is too generic for one company to own

A day after Apple announced the iPhone, Cisco Systems quickly filed a lawsuit against Apple, claiming that the computer company infringed on its trademark. True enough, Cisco's consumer arm Linksys had released a product called the iPhone earlier than Apple, and the trademark name "iPhone" had been owned by Cisco for several years already. Despite all this, Apple decided to launch its mobile communications device under the iPhone name anyway -- a move declared as extremely bold by many analysts.

In a report, Cisco mentioned that Apple had repeatedly approached it for permission to use the iPhone name, but no solid agreement had ever come to realization. Now, however, it could be possible that both companies will be allowed to use the iPhone name -- and so would everyone else, says a trademark expert.

According to Brian Banner, a seasoned attorney dealing with intellectual property and trademarks at Rothwell Figg, the "iPhone" name may actually be generic enough that a judge will rule it usable by both Apple and Cisco. The ruling will be under condition however, that a company name be attached to the term "iPhone," like "Apple iPhone" or "Cisco iPhone." Banner mentioned that the term may also be deemed generic enough to use by any company.

"They must have figured the reward would be greater than the risk. They probably did a lot of homework before calling it the iPhone and figured that the registration Cisco has is not a serious impediment," says Banner. But this is definitely not what Cisco thinks. Cisco representatives indicated that it will vigorously defend what it owns. Apple on the other hand disagrees with Cisco. "We believe that Cisco's U.S. trademark is tenuous at best," said Apple representative Katie Cotton. "We are the first company to use the iPhone name for a cell phone and we're confident we will prevail."




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If that's the case...
By drebo on 1/12/2007 10:32:15 AM , Rating: 5
If "iPhone" is too generic for just a single company to use, then any other "i" trademark that Apple has should suffer the same consequence, and all suits Apple filed against companies who make arcade game coin counters and laptop sleaves should be overturned.

Personally, I think it's about time the patent, copyright, and trademark laws were rewritten. It's abundantly clear the original laws did not take into account the level of technology we have today, and they need to. Patent trolls are also out of control and need to be put in check. Sometimes, I'm ashamed to admit I live in the US.




RE: If that's the case...
By dgouldin on 1/12/07, Rating: -1
RE: If that's the case...
By zombiexl on 1/12/2007 10:51:27 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
If "iPhone" is too generic for just a single company to use, then any other "i" trademark that Apple has should suffer the same consequence, and all suits Apple filed against companies who make arcade game coin counters and laptop sleaves should be overturned.


I was thinking the same thing..
If this turns out like this then MS should rebrand Zune the MS iPod to confuse all the people who buy these things based on the iPod name.


RE: If that's the case...
By phatboye on 1/12/2007 11:04:09 AM , Rating: 4
Cisco should retaliate by making a mp3 player called the "IPod" and market a service for downloading music called "ITunes".


RE: If that's the case...
By Spivonious on 1/12/2007 12:17:51 PM , Rating: 2
Scotties should call their tissues Kleenex.


RE: If that's the case...
By patentman on 1/15/2007 8:35:43 AM , Rating: 2
iPod is not a generic term. If anything, it is a "fanciful" term (actual terminology used in Trademark law).


RE: If that's the case...
By TomZ on 1/12/2007 11:01:37 AM , Rating: 5
I agree - and as a reminder, Apple was going after companies that had the word "pod" in their name. It is pretty hypocritical of Apple to pursue these types of suits on the one hand, and then blatantly ignore a clear, registered trademark matching exactly their name on the other hand. Apple should be ashamed of themselves - it is clear they have no moral compass in this case.


RE: If that's the case...
By masher2 (blog) on 1/12/07, Rating: 0
RE: If that's the case...
By TomZ on 1/12/2007 1:37:25 PM , Rating: 1
I don't see the difference. After all, neither device is an "iPhone" (in terms of a dictionary definition) either - they are both "phones." This is the same as saying Apple's PMP is neither a "pod" nor an "iPod" (dictionary definition).


RE: If that's the case...
By masher2 (blog) on 1/12/2007 2:13:41 PM , Rating: 2
Let's take it one step at a time. You're not allowed to trademark a dictionary word in conjunction with original usage. That should be fairly clear...otherwise someone could trademark the entire dictionary, and prevent us all from describing our own products, or even speaking at all.

For that reason, you cannot trademark "phone" to describe a phone. Any derivative form must be widely distinguished from it. For instance, you clearly cannot trademark "best phone", "red phone", or even "smart phone"....not in conjunction with selling telephones, at least. You could, though, use the trademark "RedPhone" to sell something else entirely.

Trademarks are designed to protect brand identification created by a seller. The trademark holder is not allowed to "steal" name identification which already exists in the English language. Clearly, the term "iPhone" is some sort of phone...and its not clearly differentiated from any other sort of phone. What about "ziPhone"? That's verging into territory more grey. How about "Apple iPhone"? That's quite alright...as long as the Apple is tacked on. No chance of consumer confusion in that case.


RE: If that's the case...
By Sharky974 on 1/12/2007 5:46:22 PM , Rating: 4
How can you trademark a fuckin fruit? Apple's entire name is based on an illegally broad trademark, really.

How about I go trademark "orange", too.


RE: If that's the case...
By MobileZone on 1/12/2007 5:52:35 PM , Rating: 2
Let's not forget their fight with the Beatles label.


RE: If that's the case...
By masher2 (blog) on 1/12/2007 6:04:22 PM , Rating: 2
> "How about I go trademark "orange", too"

You can do so, of course. As long as you don't use it to sell oranges.



RE: If that's the case...
By decapitator666 on 1/13/2007 7:12:39 PM , Rating: 3
Orange is allready taken by a mobile phone company that operates in europe ;-)


RE: If that's the case...
By dmark07 on 1/14/2007 8:29:43 PM , Rating: 2
First off, please post a link to these trademark laws. Second, if Apple thought the "iPhone" product name was too generic then why did they approach Cisco repeatedly to try and acquire the name?

Apple could have avoided this entire mess if they would have just chose a different name. BUT WAIT!! Apple has presence over the law. If you want to flame me go ahead but think about this, what if Apple had the name "iPhone" but Cisco wanted to use it. Apple would be suing Cisco before the cloth covering the Cisco "iPhone" hit the floor. Come on Steve, you used to be cool.


RE: If that's the case...
By masher2 (blog) on 1/15/2007 7:36:24 AM , Rating: 2
> "First off, please post a link to these trademark laws..."

Do I really need to perform basic Google searches for you? Well, it seems so. From http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/metaschool/fisher/dom...

quote:
An arbitrary or fanciful mark is a mark that bears no logical relationship to the underlying product. For example, the words "Exxon," "Kodak," and "Apple" bear no inherent relationship to their underlying products ...Arbitrary or fanciful marks are inherently distinctive -- i.e. capable of identifying an underlying product -- and are given a high degree of protection...

A descriptive mark is a mark that directly describes, rather than suggests, a characteristic or quality of the underlying product...For example, "Holiday Inn," "All Bran," and "Vision Center" all describe some aspect of the underlying product or service....Unlike arbitrary or suggestive marks, descriptive marks are not inherently distinctive and are protected only if they have acquired "secondary meaning." Descriptive marks must clear this additional hurdle because they are terms that are useful for describing the underlying product, and giving a particular manufacturer the exclusive right to use the term could confer an unfair advantage
Follow that so far? If so, you should see why calling a phone an "iPhone" is far harder to trademark than calling an MP3 player an "iPod". Now, lets move to the second part of Apple's claim:

quote:
The rights to a trademark can be lost through abandonment...non-use for three consecutive years is prima facie evidence of abandonment. The basic idea is that trademark law only protects marks that are being used, and parties are not entitled to warehouse potentially useful marks ...
Nothing could be more clear. This trademark was registered in 1996, yet no products were released within three years. This is certainly evidence of trademark warehousing.

> "if Apple had the name "iPhone" but Cisco wanted to use it. Apple would be suing Cisco before the cloth covering the Cisco "iPhone" hit the floor..."

I imagine they would. However, that doesn't change the fact that, in this particular case, Apple is in the right. Each case must be judged on its own merits alone, and not your personal opinion of the plaintiff or defendent.


RE: If that's the case...
By cochy on 1/13/2007 1:27:21 AM , Rating: 2
A moral corporation...what a novel idea.


RE: If that's the case...
By skipintro on 1/12/07, Rating: -1
RE: If that's the case...
By TomZ on 1/12/2007 11:41:20 AM , Rating: 2
It would be nice if Congree would pass a law saying that paid agents be required to disclose their commercial affiliation when making posts on forums like this one.

I hope in the end, this practice becomes widely perceived for what it is - deceptive advertising.


RE: If that's the case...
By skipintro on 1/12/07, Rating: -1
RE: If that's the case...
By Flunk on 1/12/07, Rating: -1
RE: If that's the case...
By AdmQuixote on 1/12/2007 2:13:31 PM , Rating: 2
We don't persecute people for their personal beliefs here.

While I don't want to get too far from Apple's hypocrisy, let's not be naive. Of course Canadian authorities persecute people for their personal beliefs. It has been in the news outside of Canada for years. For example, Canadians who think homosexuality is immoral better not discuss this personal belief or they will definitely risk persecution.

Here is just one link that summarizes a prestigious law journal on the problem, you can easily find many other links on the uncensored internet.

http://www.narth.com/docs/trumps.html


RE: If that's the case...
By masher2 (blog) on 1/12/2007 2:17:50 PM , Rating: 2
> "For example, Canadians who think homosexuality is immoral better not discuss this personal belief or they will definitely risk persecution...."

Canada's infamous hate speech legislation is clearly over the line, and numerous examples of "persecuting people for their personal beliefs" abound. If anyone doubts it, try denying the Holocaust in Canada, or distributing pamphlets claiming one race is inferior to another.


RE: If that's the case...
By cochy on 1/13/2007 1:33:35 AM , Rating: 2
As a Canadian I am not aware that Holocaust denial is against the law, as it is in Germany. However I have no problem if it were illegal to spread hateful racist propaganda through speech or any other medium. There's no room for such things. Freedom of speech however vital towards our inalienable rights is not God.


RE: If that's the case...
By typo101 on 1/14/2007 9:48:26 AM , Rating: 2
Some of what you say seems tongue-in-cheek to me, but it scares me that it probably isn't. As a Canadian, I sleep perfectly well knowing that we persecute those who spread hate.

Is there no harm in denying the Holocaust? I wonder what would happen if say a FOX type network in some other country made "documentary" like they did about the mission to the moon, only about 9/11? Ask anybody affected by that attack how that would make them feel?


RE: If that's the case...
By masher2 (blog) on 1/14/2007 7:44:11 PM , Rating: 2
> "As a Canadian, I sleep perfectly well knowing that we persecute those who spread hate. "

I rest my case. Unpopular speech is the only type of speech that needs protecting. One day you may want to say something the majority disagrees with. Then you may change your mind about such anti-civil rights legislation.


RE: If that's the case...
By typo101 on 1/14/2007 10:10:25 PM , Rating: 2
I said nothing about the majority or popularity.

Its like sexual harassment. Its wrong even though it can be only words and only harms one person. Keyword there harm. It is not wrong because one person (or even everybody) disagrees.


RE: If that's the case...
By masher2 (blog) on 1/15/2007 7:45:29 AM , Rating: 2
> "I said nothing about the majority or popularity..."

You didn't have to. If the majority of people believe something to be true, then that majority certainly won't pass a law against stating it, now will they? Popular speech is always protected by the mob itself...it doesn't need special legal protection. Only unpopular speech does.

If you don't defend speech that you personally do not agree with, then you don't believe in free speech. Period.

> "Keyword there harm..."

Exactly. And the touchstone for judging speech is in how a "reasonable person" would react to it. If you shout fire in a crowded theatre, a reasonable person would attempt to flee to an exit. This causes the potential for harm.

However, if you say to a reasonable person that Québécoise are less intelligent than other Canadians, a reasonable person merely laughs. The fact that some unreasonable person might agree, then be further motivated to go on a killing spree in Montreal, is irrelevent. An opinion by itself causes no harm...and unpopular opinions must be protected, else free speech itself is meaningless.


RE: If that's the case...
By devbreak on 1/19/2007 6:45:42 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
An opinion by itself causes no harm...and unpopular opinions must be protected, else free speech itself is meaningless.


But free speech itself IS meaningless. Freedom is by definition neither good nor evil - it is the ability do either. Thus it is a form of power just the same as other rather abstract forms of power, such as money or respect. It is a tool, and whether it is good or bad (or indeed even meaningful) is in the hands of the wielder. This must sound rather provocative to a citizen of a country that was founded with liberty as its highest ideal, but bear with me. (I'm guessing that you're American considering how well-versed you are in American trademark law)

My point is that freedom of speech is not a silver bullet. It is not a goal in itself, but rather a means to an end - and that end is a "reasonable" society (I do realize how arbitrary this term is). The primary function of free speech is to allow the people (or journalists) to criticize the government. This works as a safeguard against our society becoming a totalitarian, censoring system like North Korea or China. That safeguard makes sense and should be protected - but that is all it is, a safeguard.

The same holds for democracy - for example Hitler was democratically elected (feel free to invoke Godwin's Law here, but Holocaust was already brought up as an example). The primary strength of democracy is it's usual inefficiency - it helps maintain a relative status quo until the next election, so we don't "screw up" too much at a time.

Clearly our "ideals" such as free speech or democracy are not failsafe - they do not guarantee a reasonable society by themselves. If we hold these "ideals" above reproach (e.g. "then you don't believe in free speech") then we close our eyes to their shortcomings, and eventually they WILL fail. Holding any ideology above reproach, whether it is liberty, communism, religion or anything else, is the hallmark of a true fanatic, and fanatics are the kinds of people that make concentration camps or fly planes into buildings.

With freedom comes responsibility, and it up to us as a society to decide whether to intervene when people do not live up to that responsibility. The issue is not black and white - it is an oversimplification to believe it is.


RE: If that's the case...
By AdmQuixote on 1/15/2007 10:04:45 AM , Rating: 2
As a Canadian, I sleep perfectly well knowing that we persecute those who spread hate.

I can understand this philosophy, even if I completely disagree with it. For your sake, I just hope that you are always on the side of your leaders who get to define what hate speech is. Wait until they forbid making "hateful" speech about the government...

Having had several homosexual friends, I think those organizations who help homosexuals become straight are truly kind while those who attack them are the ones doing harm. For more details see (http://exodus.to/ and http://www.narth.com/)

Anyway, thank you for yet another nail in the coffin of the original naive Candian post (Flunk's post) than prompted me to comment. (And Masher2, thanks for your words that saved me from making a few other comments...)


RE: If that's the case...
By masher2 (blog) on 1/12/2007 11:46:49 AM , Rating: 2
> "If "iPhone" is too generic for just a single company to use, then any other "i" trademark that Apple has should suffer the same consequence..."

No, you don't understand the issue here. The problem is in distinguishing a "phone" from a "iPhone"...are the two separate enough to warrant a trademark? Quite possibly they are not.

For instance, you can easily trademark "Apple" to identify a company that sells computers. But if your business was selling apples (the fruit), then you're out of luck. "Apple Company" is also far too close. "John Doe's Fabulous Apples, Inc.", however, is.

I assume your post refers to the iPod. Since it's not a "pod", the trademark is good.


RE: If that's the case...
By drebo on 1/12/2007 4:08:15 PM , Rating: 2
Respectfully, I disagree, and find what you say somewhat inconsistent and backwards.

My understanding of a trademark is a label that differentiates one product from a similar product. Otherwise, what would the point of a trademark be? No one has trouble differentiating Microsoft Windows from Storm Windows. Likewise, why would any one have trouble differentiating Apple's iPod from a coin counting device called the PayPod?

On the other hand, the two iPhones are similar enough that product recognition could be a problem. Yes, one is an IP Phone and the other is a cell phone, but they are both phones. To me, this is where a trademark should make it's mark.

What you are trying to say is that BECAUSE they are so similar, a trademark cannot be applied. That is backwards to any rational way of thinking. The trademark should be there because the products are similar, not the other way around.

Otherwise, how could anyone stop anyone else from creating fundementally similar object and calling it the exact same thing?


RE: If that's the case...
By masher2 (blog) on 1/12/2007 4:23:07 PM , Rating: 2
> "Respectfully, I disagree, and find what you say somewhat inconsistent and backwards..."

Disagree all you wish; this is still basic trademark law and not open to dispute.

> "Likewise, why would any one have trouble differentiating Apple's iPod from a coin counting device called the PayPod? "

I never said they would. I merely pointed out that "iPod" is a valid trademark for an MP3 player, whereas "iPhone" is not a valid trademark for a phone.


RE: If that's the case...
By masher2 (blog) on 1/12/2007 4:51:25 PM , Rating: 2
> "What you are trying to say is that BECAUSE they are so similar, a trademark cannot be applied. That is backwards to any rational way of thinking. "

No, you misread my post. The issue isn't the similarity between the Apple iPhone and the Cisco iPhone. The issue is the similarity between the trademark and the product it describes. To use your "Storm Windows" example-- one can trademark "Windows" to describe software. But one cannot trademark it to sell windows themselves.


RE: If that's the case...
By hubajube on 1/12/07, Rating: -1
RE: If that's the case...
By masher2 (blog) on 1/12/2007 5:45:15 PM , Rating: 2
> "Not to mention that Cisco was ALREADY given the patent on the name "iPhone". It was already determined to not be generic"

It's a trademark. Not a copyright, and not a patent. Also, there is NO determination made as the validity of a trademark when filing is done. It's a simple recording of filing date, nothing more. I can easily file a trademark for "Coca Cola", and it will be accepted...it just won't hold up in court.


RE: If that's the case...
By hubajube on 1/12/2007 5:56:06 PM , Rating: 1
Actually it's more than just a "filing date" as you put it. If you filed for "Coca Cola" it may NOT be accepted. There is a reviewing attorney for trademark filings. Part of his/her job is to find conflicting trademarks. Try again.


RE: If that's the case...
By masher2 (blog) on 1/12/2007 6:19:23 PM , Rating: 2
> "There is a reviewing attorney for trademark filings. Part of his/her job is to find conflicting trademarks...."

The conflict check is only within a given market, and the USPTO specifically informs each applicant that granting the registration does not imply the trademark is safe from challenge. In fact, the USPTO allows for a company or private citizen to directly challenge their granting of a trademark...without having to resort to court action.

Furthermore, the fact two marks may be deemed nonconflicting at a given point in time does not imply they are always nonconflicting. Markets may expand, products may change and start to overlap, or one trademark may become "famous"...a special designation with special rights and responsibilities.

IP law is complex. Don't debate it unless you know someone about it.



RE: If that's the case...
By hubajube on 1/12/2007 6:37:08 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
IP law is complex. Don't debate it unless you know someone about it.
Yes "massa", I's won't debate with you's anymore captain. Aye aye sir. Give me a break. I'll debate whatever I want to debate. Person to person communication can be complex. Don't speak to another person unless you know something about communication.


RE: If that's the case...
By sker on 1/12/2007 8:42:23 PM , Rating: 2
I signed up only to applaud your comment. Well said.


RE: If that's the case...
By masher2 (blog) on 1/13/2007 12:01:46 AM , Rating: 2
> "Yes "massa", I's won't debate with you's anymore captain. Aye aye sir. Give me a break. I'll debate whatever I want to debate...."

Then keep debating by all means. However, several prominent trademark attorneys have already stated their agreement with Apple's position. I'm merely trying to explain to you their reasoning. Feel free to continue disagreeing if you wish, but the facts are rather clear.


RE: If that's the case...
By jtyson on 1/12/07, Rating: -1
RE: If that's the case...
By tungtung on 1/12/2007 3:53:08 PM , Rating: 2
What I don't understand, why haven't Cisco sue Comwave. Cause they also use the term "iPhone" for their telephony service.
http://www.comwave.net/CDN/iPhone/

Or maybe just because the service is for Canadians (I think it's available in Canada only), and the "iPhone" trademark held by Cisco doesn't cover Canada.

I honestly don't understand, and to be absolutely honest, Apple's iPhone blew Cisco's product out of the water. So maybe jealousy may actually be the main reason here.


RE: If that's the case...
By HammerZ on 1/12/2007 6:39:43 PM , Rating: 2
Good question. Probably because comwave does not have the cash or potential revenue to make it worth it. It may be a different situation if Comwave becomes bigger.

As for the last comment in your post, I would have to disagree w/ the logic. Cisco is a networking/communication company that is trying to get into the consumer space (based on some of its recent acquisition). It is not out of the question for Cisco to add cellular capabilities to its iPhone. If that were to happen, we would have two iPhones w/ similar features...I think Cisco has a case to defend the "iPhone" name here.


I honestly hope apple loses
By lufoxe on 1/12/2007 10:35:51 AM , Rating: 2
They are the first ones to jump on copywrite infringement, then they go ahead and use a name that was already registered and expect to be different? cmon Jobs, the law that applies for everyone applies to you. If you want your i in front of a phone, b/c you believe it's a marketing thing, try something like iCell people will still know it's a cellphone. It's actions like this, that get me pissed off at apple, inc. Cisco has the copywrite and have released an iphone already:
http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=5374
so I doubt it's "tenious"




RE: I honestly hope apple loses
By masher2 (blog) on 1/12/2007 12:01:10 PM , Rating: 3
First of all, you should learn the difference between a trademark and a copyright. Secondly, learn the reasoning behind this action, and you might well understand the case. I'll give you a hint-- do you see Ford, GM, or Toyota trying to trademark the word "car" ?


RE: I honestly hope apple loses
By lufoxe on 1/12/2007 12:18:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
do you see Ford, GM, or Toyota trying to trademark the word "car"

no sir, BUT you don't see ford releasing a corvette. That name is owned by chevy. What apple did was the equivalent of ford making a mustang, and then chevy releasing a mustang and using the excuse that they made a car that started with M. you can't do that. Or let's do something more relevant, apple released the ipod, I now in turn want to release an MP3 player... so I call it the ipod. I'm currently in negotiations with apple to use the ipod name. that fails, so I go ahead and release the ipod anyway. Now you're telling me that I'm in the right b/c ipod is to general of a name? It's not to general of a name, and apple owns the name. What you think the situation is and what it actually is are two different things.
Maybe if you realized this:
quote:
you might well understand the case.


RE: I honestly hope apple loses
By masher2 (blog) on 1/12/2007 1:05:32 PM , Rating: 2
> "no sir, BUT you don't see ford releasing a corvette. That name is owned by chevy"

Reread my post; I made it very clear. The word "corvette" has a dictionary meaning-- "a lightly armored warship", or something thereabouts. Thus, one can trademark "Corvette" to sell any product except warships. It can even be simultaneously trademarked in two different fields, as long as there is no opportunity for confusion. For instance, a company could trademark "Corvette Grape Juice", and most likely get away with it.

But you cannot trademark a dictionary word in its original context. You cannot trademark "Apple" to sell apples. You cannot trademark "Car" to sell cars. And you cannot trademark "shoe" to sell...shoes. Understand now?

This is why Apple believes "iPhone" cannot be trademarked in conjunction with phones. Because it is too similar to the word "phone" itself. You can trademark "iPhone" to sell something OTHER than a phone...but this isn't what Cisco has done.


RE: I honestly hope apple loses
By sdsdv10 on 1/12/2007 1:21:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
This is why Apple believes "iPhone" cannot be trademarked in conjunction with phones. Because it is too similar to the word "phone" itself. You can trademark "iPhone" to sell something OTHER than a phone...but this isn't what Cisco has done.


If I understand you correctly and Apple wins this case (hypothetically), would that mean any company could come out with a phone and call it "iPhone"?


RE: I honestly hope apple loses
By masher2 (blog) on 1/12/2007 2:02:40 PM , Rating: 2
> "If I understand you correctly and Apple wins this case (hypothetically), would that mean any company could come out with a phone and call it "iPhone"? "

Yes they could.


RE: I honestly hope apple loses
By ani4ani on 1/12/2007 6:52:27 PM , Rating: 2
and that is the very reason Apple have come with a product called iPhone!


RE: I honestly hope apple loses
By HammerZ on 1/12/2007 7:08:18 PM , Rating: 2
And that is the very reason why Cisco sued them. Only time will tell. I suspect that this will be over very soon. I highly doubt that Apple is foolish enough to delay resolving this. They need to ramp to production soon. There's just too much financial risk to drag this out.



RE: I honestly hope apple loses
By abu723 on 1/14/2007 6:29:48 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
This is why Apple believes "iPhone" cannot be trademarked in conjunction with phones. Because it is too similar to the word "phone" itself. You can trademark "iPhone" to sell something OTHER than a phone...but this isn't what Cisco has done.


If Apple truely believes in this argument, then why did it ask Cisco for permission to use the name in the first place? Did it only come up with this argument after Cisco denied its request? Furthermore, why has Apple applied for trademarks in various countries across the world since 2004. It has applied for trademarks in countries such as Australia, the United Kingdom, and Canada. (check it here: http://10layers.com/2006/10/apple-filing-for-iphon... )


RE: I honestly hope apple loses
By masher2 (blog) on 1/14/2007 7:47:49 PM , Rating: 2
> "If Apple truely believes in this argument, then why did it ask Cisco for permission to use the name in the first place?"

First of all, its not simply Apple who believes this, but many trademark/IP attorneys, well versed in relevant case law here.

As for why Apple attempted to get permission, I'm sure you can figure that out for yourself. Why spend money and time to fight a legal battle if its avoidable through a little diplomacy?

> "Furthermore, why has Apple applied for trademarks in various countries across the world since 2004."

Are you seriously attempting this argument? That, because Apple challenges the validity of one single trademark, it shouldn't be allowed to use any others? Come sir, you can do better than this.



RE: I honestly hope apple loses
By abu723 on 2/4/2007 2:07:34 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Are you seriously attempting this argument? That, because Apple challenges the validity of one single trademark, it shouldn't be allowed to use any others? Come sir, you can do better than this.


If you actually clicked on the link you would know that the trademark I'm talking about and the one that Apple has applied for in other countries is the same one they say shouldn't be trademarked, =>"iPhone".


RE: I honestly hope apple loses
By blanger on 1/12/2007 1:06:00 PM , Rating: 1
I am really tired of trademarks and copyright but first - yes I am a MAC user and have been for 20 years and no I don't get paid to post messages. Normally I do not post messages but thats another store.
This is my 2 cents - first of all we have to understand how apple is using "i" in regards to product naming. Imac Ipod as I personal see it mean myMac myPod. Bad english yes but a pattern. The patter began back in 98 to great success. Then of course what happens is that companies see success and try to ride the coat tails of that success.
Apple has produce a whole line of "i" products. I guess in a capilistic socity we should all run out and try to trademark Icar Istove Ishoes etc and then maybe we could cash in without doing the hard work of building a brand.
Personally Apple was creative enough to build the "i" brand and should be allowed to use it, but as I have said I am a MAC user and love my MAC products.


RE: I honestly hope apple loses
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 1/12/2007 1:14:49 PM , Rating: 2
Except that iPhone was trademarked back in '96. Before the iMac came to market.


RE: I honestly hope apple loses
By blanger on 1/12/2007 1:48:53 PM , Rating: 2
I guess the question I am raising is what about the cost of building the brand. Until last week I had never heard the term iphone. Additionally cisco did not buy the trademark until after apples "I" products were launch. But here is the question if you hear the term iphone or icomputer or ipalm which company would you think created that product?

If something "just do it" for example becomes sonomus with a brand sholud that be trademarkable. Additionally Martha Stewart should be able to call here next cook book MS recipies. MicroSoft has built the brand and products using the acroynum MS so maybe a small or large business should leverage that brand.

The question come down to does the majority of the public see the "i" acroynum as a part of apple if it does then trademarked or not cisco is infringing on apple's brand


RE: I honestly hope apple loses
By masher2 (blog) on 1/12/2007 2:04:49 PM , Rating: 2
Just FYI, Intel had trademarked the lowercase "i" in conjunction with semiconductors back in the 1980s. It was eventually declared overly broad, and struck down.

And, by the way, Martha Stewart could indeed sell cookbooks labelled "MS". If she tried to sell computer software under that name, however, she may well run into difficulties.


RE: I honestly hope apple loses
By blanger on 1/12/2007 2:24:09 PM , Rating: 2
I guess what I am getting at is that the smaller business gets harassed. If Martha Stewart or any one else tried to put a cook book out on CD or with a comapnion CD call MS receipies MicroSoft would sue and if a small unknown publisher tried it they would be crushed like a bug. Trademark laws are made and used by big companies to stop competition or in this case to force another to your will.

I find it amusing the cisco does not want money they be happy to share the name if apple would agree to a partnership.

But either way apple and to some extent cisco wins because in the end all the press is worth more than the name. Working in marketing and running a business you can not pay for this kind of press and discussion.

We are all talking about apple and cisco and that will suit them just fine.
Who knows maybe the partnership is already in place and this is just good marketing


By masher2 (blog) on 1/12/2007 2:31:03 PM , Rating: 2
There are far more cases of a large firm being sued by a small company or an individual. Suits tend to go after those with deep pockets.

One thing people don't understand is that, in the case of trademark law, companies are legally required to defend their trademark, lest they lose it. A company can't simply choose to ignore a particular case of infringement, lest some other company use that against them to remove their ownership entirely. This is why you so often see large companies suing for what you may feel is arbitrary, minor infringement. They're not looking for money or trying to harrass anyone....they're merely defending their own property against loss.


RE: I honestly hope apple loses
By MobileZone on 1/12/2007 6:06:05 PM , Rating: 2
What about iPaqs? Apple should ban them?


RE: I honestly hope apple loses
By Terrin on 1/12/07, Rating: 0
RE: I honestly hope apple loses
By Chillin1248 on 1/13/2007 2:25:51 PM , Rating: 4
Except you whole arguement goes out the window when you realize the fact that the "iPhone" was trademarked in 1996, before any Apple "i" series products.

So then I guess you reason the Apple is the one who hijacked the "i" brand then.
-------
Chillin


By tungtung on 1/14/2007 1:01:39 AM , Rating: 2
I just found this link from another hardware review site. It's a very interesting discussion about a possibility that Cisco's use of the name "iPhone" might ended up being more of a way for them to try get money from Apple.

http://blogs.zdnet.com/Burnette/?p=236

I mean lets face it here, as I have mentioned in my previous comment, Cisco's iPhone can't realistically compete with Apple's iPhone. Moreover if you remember, the buzz about iPhone has long been associated with Apple, since they practically coined the use of the "i___" moniker in the first place (with the iMac and iPod). It's not until Cisco decided to release their "iPhone" that many people (me included) was shocked to know that the word iPhone was not trademarked by Apple. On the other side of the story, as mentioned in the blog it appears that there seems to be no intention from Cisco to call their telephony product "iPhone" in the first place (not to mention that the whole product manual has no mention of the word iPhone at all).

I seriously hope that Cisco will lose this case and lose it badly. It seems to me that they are the one who had the worse intention in this dispute. The fact that they went into discussion with Apple about the use of the iPhone word, up to the point where they rebranded their product to "sit" on the iPhone trademark is just disgusting. It sort of reminded me of the court case of NTP (I think it was that company) vs RIM, in which RIM ended up having to settle the case out of court, even though the other company have never shown any intention of using the trademark/copyright at all.

Beside I don't believe Apple's management and lawyers would be stupid enough to just go ahead and launch a product with a name that they know will get them into a costly legal battle that they cannot win.

I'm not a big fan of Apple, especially after their bully-ish tactic in forcing people to give up naming their product with "-pod" moniker. But personally I would rather see them (Apple) win this case, at least it would hopefully set an example in other copyright/trademark cases where the copyright/trademark holder is just some company or individual who just sit on the copyright/trademark in hope of benefiting from it without any effort at all.




By INeedCache on 1/14/2007 11:48:09 PM , Rating: 2
As stated earlier though, if Apple wins this battle they will lose the war. Anyone and everyone could then come out with an iPhone, and Apple would be powerless to stop them. That would serve them right. What Cisco is doing here is just business, and if the shoe were on the other foot, Apple would do the same. It's called business. It's sad that you feel Apple somehow has some inherent right to this name, even though Cisco obviously registered it first. Do you honestly think Cisco had this in mind back in 2000?


By masher2 (blog) on 1/15/2007 7:55:56 AM , Rating: 2
> "What Cisco is doing here is just business, and if the shoe were on the other foot, Apple would do the same..."

Right. Which is why we judge this case on its own merits, and not our personal feelings towards either Cisco or Apple, nor our belief in how either might act in the situation was reversed. Apple is in the right here (though not for the reasons the OP suggested), and I believe the courts will uphold this.

> "even though Cisco obviously registered it first..."

Ah, but there is far more to trademark law than a simple "first come, first served" mentality. First of all, the mark is far too general to ever be registered, unless the manufacturer has promoted it to the point of it acquiring "secondary characteristics". In other words, for it to already be associated with a product to the public.

Secondly, the mark was registered in 1996, yet wasn't used until last year. This is evidence of abandonment. Thirdly, the same mark is allowed to be used in different markets by different owners. Apple contends that the cellphone market is a different one than the VoIP phone market, and in this case, Cisco's registration does not preclude Apple's usage.

The first two claims are, in my opinion, rock solid. The third is suspect...but any of the three is sufficient in itself.




By patentman on 1/15/2007 8:19:43 AM , Rating: 2

1. "First of all, the mark is far too general to ever be registered, unless the manufacturer has promoted it to the point of it acquiring "secondary characteristics"

- Generic terms can NEVER be federally registered. This is why trademark lawyers refer to marks that have gone generic as "genericide."

2. "Ah, but there is far more to trademark law than a simple "first come, first served" mentality."

- Yes and no. Trademark law arises from the common law: the first to use a mark that designates the source of goods or services in commerce IS ENTITLED to the mark. Indeed, it is a "first come, first served" system, at least with respect to common law trademark rights.

3. "First of all, the mark is far too general to ever be registered, unless the manufacturer has promoted it to the point of it acquiring "secondary characteristics"

- Merely descriptive terms CAN be registered upon a showing of proof that they have acquired "SECONDARY MEANING" not secondary "characteristics." A showing of secondary meaning entails establishing that a significant quantity of the consuming public for the goods and/or services in question understand it to refer exclusively to a particular party.


4. "Secondly, the mark was registered in 1996, yet wasn't used until last year. This is evidence of abandonment."

- Evidence of abandonment? Yes. Conclusive proof of abandonment? No.

5. "Thirdly, the same mark is allowed to be used in different markets by different owners."

- Kind of. Generally a mark may be concurrently used by different companies where such use will not cause a likelihood of confusion. That is, the concurrent use of the mark by A and B in association with their goods and services is not such that the public is likely to be confused about the source of A's goods and B's goods. Separation of markets is but one factor that is considered in this analysis. I.e. the mark "Sunkist" was allowed to be concurrently used by two different companies when, on the one hand, the mark was associated with the Florida Growers association and citrus fruit while, on the other hand, the mark was associated with a New York bakery and specialty breads. In this case, the courts held that there was no likelihood of confusion, primarily because the products themselves were sufficiently distinct.

However, in instances where the goods or services are relatively close, i.e., Cisco's internet phone v.s. Apple's cellular phone, the likelihood that people may be confused as to the source of the goods is increased.



Apple should just put its company name before the iPhone mark (i.e., market the phone as "the Apple iPhone" instead of just "iPhone") to minimize any likelihood of confusion.


By patentman on 1/15/2007 8:43:52 AM , Rating: 2
For the record Masher2, for once I think you have given a generally good overview of the applicable IP laws, whatever differences you and I may have with respect to the patent laws. My post above is just me being picky.


By masher2 (blog) on 1/15/2007 10:00:06 AM , Rating: 2
> "My post above is just me being picky..."

No problem at all...and in the same spirit, I have a few nits to pick myself :)

> "Generic terms can NEVER be federally registered..."

Of course. However, terms that are somewhat general can be registered in certain circumstances. If Cisco had promoted the term iPhone to the point that, to the average consumer, it evoked their product, the generality of the term would no longer be relevant. That was my original point....and based on your other remarks, I think you agree with it.

> "Evidence of abandonment? Yes. Conclusive proof of abandonment? No. "

There is no such thing as "conclusive proof" in our legal system. However, three consecutive years without use is prima facie proof of abandonment. Which means that, unless Cisco can show just cause for failing to use the mark in a timely manner, they have indeed abandoned it.

> "However, in instances where the goods or services are relatively close, i.e., Cisco's internet phone v.s. Apple's cellular phone, the likelihood that people may be confused as to the source of the goods is increased. "

Just so. Which is why I said this third claim of Apple's was suspect. When you make a legal case, you throw everything on the wall and see what sticks. However, the other two points (generality and abandonment) are, if proven, each sufficient by themselves.

> "Yes and no."

Yes and yes. My statement was that there is much more to trademark law than "first come, first served". Simply because you are the first to register a mark does not give you exclusive, permanent rights to it. The mark may be deemed generic, or become so after time. It may be abandoned, either intentionally or accidentally through misuse, lack of use, or failure to protect. It may be deemed diluting to a differing, but "famous" mark. It may be deemed specific enough that others can use the mark in differing regions or markets without consumer confusion.

So simply because one "came first" to the USPTO does not automatically give you rights to a mark. There is-- as you well know-- much more to it than that.



By patentman on 1/15/2007 10:46:34 AM , Rating: 2
"If Cisco had promoted the term iPhone to the point that, to the average consumer, it evoked their product, the generality of the term would no longer be relevant. That was my original point....and based on your other remarks, I think you agree with it."

I agree with your underlying point. My disagreement is/was with your terminology. You keep saying that "generic" terms cannot be registered but that terms which are "somewhat generic" may be trademarked. I think you mean that "generic" terms cannot be trademarked, whereas terms that are "merely descriptive" may be trademarked with a showing of secondary meaning. It is inconcistent with the law to call a term "generic" or "somehwhat generic" and indicate that it can be trademarked. Only in very very few instances has a term that has "gone generic" (meaning a term that once was a trademark but eventually became associated with the good itself and not the source) been recaptured from the public so as to recoup its original association with a source, i.e., in the Singer case.

"There is no such thing as "conclusive proof" in our legal system."

While I agree with you that 99.9% of the time there there is no such thing as "conclusive proof," I would mention that many laws, including the IP laws, present certain conditions that, if met, result in a given effect or punishment per se. I.e., in antitrust law, if a firm engages in minimum resale price fixing, that is a per se violation. In that case, if minimum price fixing is found, then a violation necessarily ensues (of course, evidence establishing minimum price fixing must be presented)

Anyways, I think our points are the same, in that we both agree that lack of use for 3 years establishes a rebuttable presumption of abandonment (as you said, it is prima facie proof of abandonment), but that presumption is rebuttable.

"Just so. Which is why I said this third claim of Apple's was suspect. When you make a legal case, you throw everything on the wall and see what sticks. However, the other two points (generality and abandonment) are, if proven, each sufficient by themselves."

I agree generally, although I will say that from a practical standpoint that when you make a legal case you do not necessarily take the shotgun approach and "throw everything on the wall and see what sticks." If you associate a very tenous/unsupportable allegation with a very strong one and bring them both in the same court, it is likely that your credibility before the judge and jury will be blown out of the water by the tenous claim. I've always been taught to bring causes of action that pass the "laugh test." That is, if I honestly beleive a judge would not laugh me out of court, then its proibably ok to bring.

So simply because one "came first" to the USPTO does not automatically give you rights to a mark. There is-- as you well know-- much more to it than that."

Oh I agree that there is a lot more tho trademark law than showing up first to the PTO. I am merely arguing about priority. I think my use of "entitled" in my post above confuses the point I was trying to make, which is that
with respect to common law rights, so long as a mark is valid (i.e. not generic, not abandoned etc.), it is a first come first serve system. Specifically, the first party to use a mark in commerce as an indication of source has priority (and several other rights to the mark) to the mark.

The same is generally true under the federal law, except that the first party to use the mark in commerce as an indicator of the source of goods or services OR the first party to file an bona fide intent to use application in the USPTO and subsequently establish use in commerce has priority to the mark.

As you mentioned, it is possible to have concurrent use registrations, which typcially crop up when two common law users of a mark are limited to the use of that mark within certain defined areas of the country.


By masher2 (blog) on 1/15/2007 12:48:16 PM , Rating: 2
> "You keep saying that "generic" terms cannot be registered but that terms which are "somewhat generic"

No. I never used the term "generic", because (as you apparently know) it has special meaning within trademark law. I used the English word "general" instead. To me, the term "iPhone" brings to mind an "Internet Phone" of some sort, just as "eMail" means "Electronic Mail". Both are generally descriptive terms (when applied to phones and mail, respectively) and thus both would face more stringent challenges to be recognized as registered marks.

> "we both agree that lack of use for 3 years establishes a rebuttable presumption of abandonment...but that presumption is rebuttable.

All presumptions are rebuttable...else there would be no need to go to court. However, from all the publicly available evidence (which is all we can debate at this time) all the points lie in Apple's favor, not Cisco's.

> "If you associate a very tenous/unsupportable allegation with a very strong one and bring them both in the same court, it is likely that your credibility before the judge and jury will be blown out of the water by the tenous claim"

I'm sorry, but this isn't true. Ask any attorney. I've been to civil court dozens of times, both as plaintiff and defendant. You make any and all claims that have even a slim chance of succeeding...and you regularly expect many of them to fail. A claim being rejected by a judge in no way prejudices any of your others.

> "I've always been taught to bring causes of action that pass the "laugh test."..."

Ah, but a claim that has a slim chance of succeeding passes the "laugh test". By definition.

Apple claims cell phones are a different market than VoIP phones. Personally I disagree...but its certainly not wild enough to make me laugh. Now, the EU attacking Microsoft by defining the "workgroup server software market" separately from the "server software market", even though the exact same products are marketed and sold in both...that fails the laugh test in my opinion. Yet it went to court and the judge sided with the EU.

It is an attorney's business-- indeed his duty-- to advance any and all claims he feels have even a small chance of succeeding.


I Disagree
By TomZ on 1/12/2007 10:58:42 AM , Rating: 2
I disagree, based on a common-sense argument, with the idea that "iPhone" is too generic to have as an exclusive trademark. "iPhone" is a made-up word that customers will have to learn and associate it with a type of product, and in my view, only one company can have the right to name their phone-related product using that name. Anything else, such as the view expressed in the article that both companies could use the brand name, will be confusing for customers, period. That is exactly the purpose for having trademarks in the first place - to avoid such confusion.

On the other hand, Microsoft is right to trademark "Windows Vista" instead of "Vista." Because "vista" is an existing word, you can call your product "Vista" if you want, but you can't claim an exclusive trademark. This is good common sense.




RE: I Disagree
By TomZ on 1/12/2007 11:04:11 AM , Rating: 2
I should add, that the only case that makes sense to me of Cisco and Apple sharing the iPhone registered trademark, is that the two companies agree to a license agreement to share the name. IMO, Apple will not be able to use the iPhone name by making legal arguments in court. A negiotiated agreement is the only way out for them (or to use a different name).


RE: I Disagree
By masher2 (blog) on 1/12/2007 11:49:07 AM , Rating: 2
> "Because "vista" is an existing word, you can call your product "Vista" if you want, but you can't claim an exclusive trademark...."

You can, in most cases, receive an exclusive trademark on a dictionary word....just not in a market which assumes its original meaning. See my example on "Apple", above.


RE: I Disagree
By djcameron on 1/12/2007 11:56:39 AM , Rating: 2
I would think that the
quote:
i
quote:
in iPhone implies that it is an internet phone, not a cell phone. Cisco's iPhone is an internet phone. Apple should name their phone a cPhone or wPhone, not iPhone.


What a surprise
By Sharky974 on 1/12/2007 5:25:07 PM , Rating: 4
Politically correct companies like Apple dont have to follow the law.

Like Democrat politicians.

If this judge rules this way, then I hope about a million knockoff comapnies start producing their own "iphones" and confuse everybody.

Of course then, the Judge would probably simply rule that those other phones infringe on Apples trademark. Having it both ways. The bottom line is one law applies to Apple, but a stricter law applies to everybody else.




RE: What a surprise
By INeedCache on 1/12/2007 6:14:03 PM , Rating: 2
The way things are going, a judge will likely strip the name from Cisco, give it to Apple, and forbid anyone else from using "iphone", or anything else that starts with an "i". If parents name their child anything that starts with an "I", like Ian or Irene, they will have to pay Apple for a licensing agreement. Probably starting next year, a nickel surcharge will be placed on every apple purchased, which will go to Apple, of course, since they have a right to anything and everything they choose. I have no real problems with their products, but their company attitude totally sucks.


RE: What a surprise
By MustaineC on 1/12/2007 6:20:54 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. It's stupid that Apple lawyers are using the reason that "iPhone" is too generic to try to win this case.

Don't they realize that even if they win the case, they will lose anyway? There will be thousands of copycat companies from third world countries making ridiculously cheap "iPhones" and Apple won't be able to stop them.


Generic trademarks
By hands on 1/12/2007 12:36:32 PM , Rating: 1
I don't see how iPhone is even as generic as Windows, but that hasn't stopped Microsoft from winning out against competitors who even appear to be using a similar name. Linspire Linux used to be Lindows, but they had to stop using the name in certain geographical areas due to court cases. Eventually, they changed their name entirely for practical reasons.

If Windows isn't too generic, iPhone couldn't possibly be too generic.




RE: Generic trademarks
By smalley83 on 1/12/2007 12:53:29 PM , Rating: 2
How about a piece of software call iSue. It trawls the web looking for potential trademark infringments, checks out the companies bank account to see if it's worth starting a lawsuit. If so it instantly files a suit to the appropriate court, if not it just sends a very frightening letter to scare the hell out of a small business to get them to change the product name.
If anyone steals this idea I'll sue!...darn they've even got me doing it now!


RE: Generic trademarks
By HammerZ on 1/12/2007 7:21:21 PM , Rating: 2
I think Apple has developed this SW already. It was the brainchild behind most of Apple's lawsuits. However, it is in beta so it missed the "iPhone" trademark. :)


RE: Generic trademarks
By patentman on 1/15/2007 8:33:32 AM , Rating: 2
In trademark law, a Generic term is one that has come to mean the product itself, instead of an indication of its source. While the term "Windows," as used in the context of a software discussion immediately conjures to mind the operating system, it also brings to mind Microsoft. Moreover, Microsoft spends lots of money associating the term "Windows" with Microsoft. Indeed, windows is typically marketed as "Microsoft Windows," which is a sure fire way to esnure that the public associates the mark, Windows, with the source, Microsoft. The fact that Windows is a strong mark does not mean it is generic. If this were the case, every strong mark, e.g., Heinz 57, Coca Cola, Pepsi etc., would be generic.

The difference between Windows for software and iPhone for a phone is that the term Windows is not a merely descriptive term for software. iPhone, on the other hand, is very close to being merely descriptive of a phone, as the mark only differs from the term "phone" the product it identifies, by a single letter. As such, I would expect that the term "iPhone" would require a much stronger showing of secondary meaning before it can be registered than was required of "Windows."



too generic?!
By bigpow on 1/12/2007 1:07:09 PM , Rating: 2
That's BULLSH!T

I hope that's just Apple talking trash, if not, I hope Apple will see a lot of iEverything on the market, probably from a lot of lousy companies - been wanting to use the iSuck names




RE: too generic?!
By sdsdv10 on 1/12/2007 1:38:40 PM , Rating: 2
Just to be accurate, it was not Apple saying it is too generic. It was, and I quote
quote:
According to Brian Banner,
a patent/trademark laywer not associated with Apple.

The Apple spokesperson simply said they feel the Cisco's trademark position is tenuous. Meaning Apple feels it has a reasonably good chance of winning(not 100% as it never is). Just look back to the settlement with Creative over the iPod GUI. Yeah they sued Creative, but after seeing all the court documents they didn't think winning was likely, so they offered Creative $100 million and were done with it.


RE: too generic?!
By Jkm3141 on 1/12/2007 4:04:54 PM , Rating: 2
hah are you saying that Cisco is a lousy company? Because if you are, that in its self is bullshit. Cisco is roughly twice the size of Apple (24 Billion, as opposed to 13 Billion) and essentially all products put out by Cisco are of extreme quality.


DIS should kick JOBS off its board
By skipintro on 1/12/2007 11:12:52 AM , Rating: 2
Steven P. Jobs is an embarrassment. He backdates stock options and he blatantly ignores trademark and intellectual property law.

The Walt Disney Company should kick him off their board before he embarrasses them, too,

And the "apologists" for Jobs I see here and in other forums are seriously psychologically disturbed. Is as if they worship Jobs!




By MobileZone on 1/12/2007 5:56:51 PM , Rating: 2
100% True.

I used to be a Apple fan 20 years ago. It was all about going against the mainstream (read IBM), garage spirit and rare computers. These days, Apple Inc is all about MONEY and boring business. Sad that many people get fooled by their strong marketing skills. For me, Jobs became Evil.


My 2 cents
By lungbutter on 1/13/2007 8:52:00 AM , Rating: 2
Cisco needs to quickly release a cellphone named "Ipod", so the circus can really begin.

I understand what Masher2 has stated above, but I wonder what would happen if I introduced and trademarked an action figure with the likeness of Steve Jobs called the "Idiot"....

Before the apple fans flame me, I already know the answer...





RE: My 2 cents
By bkleven on 1/13/2007 10:29:41 PM , Rating: 2
After having to suffer through all of these comments, I was actually rewarded for making it to the bottom!

Although the 'iDiot' action figure comment probably isn't what some on here would call 'constructive,' it sure is awfully funny.


Change the name already!
By dnewfield on 1/12/2007 12:35:08 PM , Rating: 2
I'm a die-hard Apple fan, but it even I find it easy to admit that Steve Jobs is one of the most arrogant people to walk the earth. Apple should have abandoned the iPhone name long ago and just called it the iJobs, or maybe the iSteve.




Apple fascination with " i "
By crystal clear on 1/13/2007 2:25:27 AM , Rating: 2
I had posted a comment on this subject sometime back-

Quote-

The i before it..............
By crystal clear on 12/19/06, Rating: 2
By crystal clear on 12/19/2006 8:26:24 AM , Rating: 2

Quote-

At any rate, the rumor mill on Apple’s phone continues to turn – but now we must find a new name for it.

Here is something interesting-

Quote-

"Trademark filings for use of the iPhone name have been spotted in countries outside the U.S., and Apple rumor sites recently raised eyebrows with the discovery that the Internet domain www.iphone.org points to www.apple.com. "

Quote-

"There's no telling what an Apple telephone device will be called, and presumably Apple could use the iPhone name under an arrangement with Cisco. Indeed, Apple's very corporate moniker is split between itself and Apple Corps, the British holding company created by the Beatles in the 1960s. "

Also-

"Cisco has owned the trademark on the iPhone brand since 2000, when it acquired Infogear—which had registered the name in 1996. Infogear showed an Internet appliance bearing the iPhone name at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in 1997 (see BusinessWeek.com, 2/3/97, "A New Gig for Your Phone: Net Surfer"). Cisco spent $301 million to acquire Infogear in 2000. It later acquired Linksys, a maker of consumer home-networking products, in 2003"


Source-

http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/dec...


Unquote-

*Apple has blundered the whole thing from the beginning.
This is due to plain arrogance & irresponsible behaviour,
which comes from too much success in the past in their product launch & sales.

*Apple thinks they can bulldoze they way ahead through shear
financial power it has.
Cisco is much stronger & experienced-Financially & Legally.

*The argument that Apple puts forward is plain rubbish-

"We are the first company to use the iPhone name for a cell phone and we're confident we will prevail."

This will not stand up in court-the judge will reject the argument as not relevant.

It doesnt matter -A phone is a phone-whatever type it may be.
What is a phone (any type)? - a gadget/device that enables you to communicate.(voice).
So be it- a cell phone,a skype phone,regular phone-all do the same "enable you to communicate -voice communications"

*The whole issue is as I said in my previous post(above)

"The i before it.............. "

In this case the "i" belongs to Cisco.

The "i" will cost Apple millions in legal fees & compensations in the end.
Wisdom says-Dump the "i" use something else.




By crystal clear on 1/13/2007 3:57:29 AM , Rating: 2
This is great-
This man now says he has re invented the Phone


“I don’t want people to think of this as a computer,” he said. “I think of it as reinventing the phone.”


http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/11/technology/11cnd...

Next he will say HE RE DISCOVERED AMERICA.




iPod vibrator
By crystal clear on 1/13/2007 5:23:40 AM , Rating: 2
Read this-
Apple a-quiver over iPod vibrator copyright clash

http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2006/12/12/apple_thre...




interesting
By patentman on 1/15/2007 7:57:44 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
According to Brian Banner, a seasoned attorney dealing with intellectual property and trademarks at Rothwell Figg, the "iPhone" name may actually be generic enough that a judge will rule it usable by both Apple and Cisco.


Banner is a pretty well known guy in the trademark field and has tons of experience. He was a Trademark examining attorney before going into private practice. He also happened to teach the Trademark law class I took in fall 2006. If he thinks the term "iphone" might be generic, there is a decent chance he is correct.




"i" trademarks
By FragglesRock on 1/16/2007 3:41:42 AM , Rating: 2
The "i" in "iMac" is connected to Mac which is clearly a known brandind of the Apple Company.

The "iPod" is indeed a fanciful term - certainly not a term that was at its inception an everyday understanding or association made between the product and an MP3 player.

The "iPhone" is adding an "i" to a commonly used word or concept and does not create anything unique - this is a good gamble by Apple Inc. and I would have thought either they will reach an agreement or carry on and let the courts decide.

Hopefully, even though this battle is likely to be fought in the US COurts, that common-sense will prevail!




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