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January 11, 2007

Apple- Cisco sues Apple Over iPhone Trademark

Filed under: Apple — Ramajay @ 3:34 am

“Cisco today announced that it has filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California against Apple, Inc., seeking to prevent Apple from infringing upon and deliberately copying and using Cisco’s registered iPhone trademark.” 

The iPhone hasn’t even been released to the public yet, and already there is a lawsuit over it. Cisco has been using the iPhone trademark for the last 11 years, and apparently Apple has approached them on several occasions about the trademark for the name. Cisco announced that they were at a substantive point of talks with Apple and expected an agreement soon. It seems Apple had other ideas, and the deal’s off!

Cisco didn’t want money either, what they wanted was perhaps the one thing that Apple was not prepared to give up which was the stringent restrictions over third party development for and interoperability of the phone.  As stated before on this blog, the iPhone is not going to be open to third party development. Cisco thrives on creating hardware and services that interact with a variety of third party devices and which in fact enable communication. Apple, on the other hand, built its brand and empire around sole control of every aspect of Hardware and in some cases software. As we all know only Apple successfully sells the Macintosh computer ,OSX doesn’t work (officially) on anything but a Mac, and iTunes uses DRM to lock your music into Apple approved hardware. Enabling third party implementations and interoperability is not something Apple has built its business around.

So it would seem that both Cisco and Apple have diametrically opposed goals in this issue, and Cisco with their 11 year history with the iPhone trademark would seem to have the upperhand in any court battle.

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