The battle commanders over the iPhone trademark on Thursday
agreed to a temporary truce in hopes of reaching an agreement before taking things
to the courts.
In a joint statement from Apple and Cisco regarding iPhone
trademark, the companies have announced
that they “have agreed to extend the time for Apple to respond to the lawsuit to
allow for discussions with the aim of reaching agreement on trademark rights
While the iPhone name may already be associated with Apple
and the rest of its iLife products, Cisco has owned the iPhone trademark since
2000. In fact, Cisco in December 2006 launched its own line
of telephony devices carrying the iPhone brand. Apple then bravely announced its wireless
product carrying the same name in January.
Cisco took immediate exception to Apple’s use of its
trademark and sued
for infringement. “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.”
“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.
Oddly enough, Apple responded to Cisco’s lawsuit by calling
it silly. “We think Cisco's trademark lawsuit is silly. There are already
several companies using the name iPhone for VOIP products, and we believe that
Cisco's US trademark registration is tenuous at best,” said Apple spokesperson
“We are the first company ever to use the iPhone name for a cell phone, and if
Cisco wants to challenge us on it we are very confident we will prevail.”
With the entertaining sound bites out of the way, the two
companies will now have another two weeks to sort things out. If the decision
ends up in the hands of the court, some believe that Apple and Cisco could both end up using the
iPhone name on the basis of its increasing iGeneric nature.