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
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2007 @ 12:05am

    Re: iPhone

    So what? Because Apple owns other i* products that automatically gives them rights to a trademarked name that has been bought and paid for and understood to be owned by Cisco for quite some time? That's a total load of crap.

    There is no need for Cisco to PROVE infringement. Apple's conceeded that simply in the fact that they were in the process of licensing to begin with. They're well aware who owns the name. In fact, if this ever made it to trial the court would likely automatically award statutory damages to Cisco since Apple knew they owned the name.

    Cisco could probably sue Apple for criminal infringement as well stating that they fully knew the name was owned and stole it anyway. After that's said and done Cisco could then show damages on top of that. The law is quite clear about this point.

    Apple doesn't have a leg to stand on for arguing that they own squat. Now, I agree that this will likely never make it to court. Apple will settle and brand their device but Cisco will always own it unless Apple purchases it outright (which wouldn't be a stretch).

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