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Print 96 comment(s) - last by abu723.. on Feb 4 at 2:07 AM

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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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".


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