updated 07:05 pm EST, Wed January 10, 2007
Cisco sues Apple on iPhone
Cisco on Wednesday sued Apple, claiming that the company doesn't have permission to name its forthcoming device the iPhone, which debuted at Macworld Expo. The two companies were reportedly negotiating a deal for the iPhone trademark, which is currently used by Cisco's consumer wireless division for its line of VOIP-based wireless phones. Although the deal was not final when the iPhone was announced, Cisco said it anticipated that Apple would sign off on the (undisclosed) terms on Tuesday. MarketWatch reports Cisco has owned the trademark for "iPhone" since 2000, the result of its purchase of InfoGear, which owned the trademark previously. According to the report, Cisco on Wednesday asked a U.S. District Court judge for Northern California to order Apple not to use the name for a device that it introduced on Tuesday during the annual Macworld Expo.
Apple, which intends to begin selling its iPhone sometime in June, will have until then to work things out with the networking giant, according to the report. The lawsuit follows years of negotiations between the two companies, which continued even as Apple CEO Steve Jobs was introducing the iPhone Tuesday during the Expo keynote, Marketwatch reports.
The report says that Cisco took the iPhone's introduction as a sign that Apple had agreed to Cisco's terms for use of the trademark and on Tuesday issued a statement saying that it suspected Apple had agreed to terms, and was expecting to hear from the company later that day; however, the paper paperwork never arrived, according to a Cisco spokesman.
"Cisco entered into negotiations with Apple in good faith after Apple repeatedly asked permission to use Cisco's iPhone name," Mark Chandler, Cisco's senior vice president and general counsel, said in a statement to Marketwatch. "There is no doubt that Apple's new phone is very exciting, but they should not be using our trademark without permission."