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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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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.




"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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