iOops, Apple Didn't Actually Get The Rights To The Name iPhone

from the not-so-fast dept

In the weeks leading up to yesterday's big announcement there was a lot of talk about how Apple couldn't even use the name iPhone because it was a registered trademark of Cisco. Thus, it was as big of a surprise as any that Apple's new converged cellphone/iPod was indeed called the iPhone. The word out of Cisco was that the night before the announcement, they sent Apple the final terms of a license that would allow Apple to use the name, and that they expected a signed agreement right away. Well, apparently Apple didn't get back to Cisco quickly enough, and now the networking giant is taking Apple to court, seeking to prevent Apple from using the name. It seems likely that this is a threat to make sure that Apple takes Cisco's demands seriously, and that things will get worked out before the lawsuit goes to trial. Still, it's really astounding that Apple would make such an important announcement without having this matter long squared away.

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  1. identicon
    Jon Ashley, 10 Jan 2007 @ 5:01pm

    iPhone


    Even if Cisco sues Apple, I think they'd have to prove 'damages'. And the relative notoriety of the brands, and expectations of the public, do have an influence.
    Apple owns the iMac, the iPod, iTunes, etc. and no one can hear "iPhone" without thinking Apple. So the brand equity is clearly in Apple's favor.
    Cisco is damn-near infringing on Apple for using the name, trademark registration or not.
    My guess is that no trial will ever be held, the market will concede that Apple owns the name and it will come out to the market as "iPhone".

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