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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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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.


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