toggle

AAPL Stock: 101.32 ( + 0.74 )

Printed from http://www.macnn.com

Cisco gives Apple more time in iPhone suit

updated 08:35 am EST, Thu February 1, 2007

Cisco gives Apple reprieve

Apple and Cisco have both agreed to give Apple more time to respond to Cisco's lawsuit surrounding the iPhone moniker in order to discuss trademark rights and interoperability, the companies said late Wednesday. Networking giant Cisco earlier this month filed a lawsuit against Apple over the iPhone trademark, following unsuccessful negotiations leading up to the iPhone launch at Macworld Expo. On the day of the launch, Cisco seemed confident that an agreement was close, but Apple reportedly refused to capitulate to Cisco's demand for interoperability, resulting in a war of words between the companies and eventually a lawsuit against Apple. During a conference call with analysts earlier this month, Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook called the Cisco lawsuit "silly," and said Cisco's trademark registration was "tenuous at best. If Cisco wants to challenge us," Cook said, "we're confident we'll prevail."

For its part, Cisco seems to have taken the high road, claiming that it simply wanted Apple to respect its intellectual property. The company's CEO John Chambers said that it was looking "for just interoperability, or the ability of the Apple phone to work smoothly with Cisco product." Cisco owns the iPhone tradmark through its Linksys consumer wireless division, which uses the moniker for a line of internet-based phones.

Apple's new device is "deceptively and confusingly similar" to its own line Linksys VOIP-based phones, Cisco claims, while Apple says it is entitled to use the name iPhone because its device operates over a cellular network, unlike Cisco's phones.

Other reports indicate that Apple may also face trademark issues in Canada, where Comwave Telecom has used the iPhone brand since 2004 to sell Internet phone service to its customers and filed documents opposing Apple's motion to take the name.




by MacNN Staff

POST TOOLS:

TAGS :

toggle

Comments

  1. Sprocket

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    I dunno . . .

    I think this whole business is getting pretty silly. Apple is spending a fortune defending the use of a so-so product name that they got pipped on ages ago. I say, just change the freakin' name and quit being so damn stubborn -- too late -- the train has left the station!

  1. jpellino

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    of course...

    ... they did. They were in negotiations that Cisco felt were in their best interest and ready to sign, according to them Apple just didn't show up at the closing. Either Apple made a judgement call on showing up at a meeting vs holding the keynote, or Apple knows something that would render the agreement moot. Cisco needs to either (a) get back on track with the agreement, (b) see if Apple can tip their hand or (c) hold off pursuing a lawsuit involving a "competing" product that has zero units shipped and zero revenue. Of course they could be letting the clock run to claim more months of cannablized sales on their product which is selling about as well as the Zune.

  1. Person Man

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Respect the trademark?

    Cisco claims that they "simply want Apple to respect the trademark."

    No, they're using their rights to the trademark to try and strong-arm Apple into making their cell phone interoperable with theirs. That's not "simply wanting Apple to respect the trademark."

  1. gudin

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    this isn't news.

    Attorneys routinely give each other more time to respond to complaints. It's called Professional courtesy.

  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    profesional courtesy...

    Indeed... That way, lawyers on both sides get to bill even more hours for that particular case. The ultimate goal of this 'professional courtesy' is for both sides to be able to put their children through college on income derived from the case.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: respect

    No, they're using their rights to the trademark to try and strong-arm Apple into making their cell phone interoperable with theirs. That's not "simply wanting Apple to respect the trademark."

    Cisco doesn't have a cell phone to be interoperable with.

  1. gudin

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re: vasic

    Do you do what you do for free? I'm thinking probably not. Unless you are a 13 yr old.

    True, Professional Courtesy applies more to lawyers than to many other fields, but is still the same regardless. . . . it is "Professional Courtesy"

    If the other side needs more time to look into and properly analyze their position, and gives you the courtesy of a phone call and/or letter to request more time, and it doesn't hurt your client in any way, you do it. You may need more time in the next matter you're taking care of.

    It would also waste much more time to not agree, as both sides would need to draft more documents to amend the earlier ones later regardless.

    This has nothing whatsoever to do with billing. In fact, if anything, it saves both sides money, effort, and irrationality.

  1. madgunde

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    It's all a PR game

    It doesn't matter how much it's costing Apple or Cisco, they're getting more than their money's worth in free publicity. How many people would know about Cisco's iPhone had the lawsuit never happened vs. how many know now? Likewise, how much media attention is Apple getting wrt the iPhone because of the lawsuit? Far more than if there was no lawsuit at all. Apple has nothing to lose over fighting. If they win, they'll have the name, if they lose, they'll get tons of media publicity announcing the new name.

    In the end I bet it costs a h*** of a lot less than advertising to accomplish the same thing.

  1. TahoeJimRocks

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Why "iPhone" name?

    As we have already seen Apple is not tied to the "i" in all its products. Apple TV is a perfect example, once code named "iTV". Why not just call their phone the "Apple Phone". it makes perfect sense now that the company is Apple Inc and not Apple Computer.

  1. Terrin

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Thoughts. . .

    Three things. First, the article says,"Cisco owns the iPhone tradmark through its Linksys consumer wireless division, which uses the moniker for a line of internet-based phones."

    How so? If it were so clear that Cisco owned the Trademark, Apple would not be challenging Cisco's ownership. Let me lay out a very real possibility here. Cisco lost the trademark because it sat on the trademark for too many years without using it. After-all, one does not own a trademark, merely the right to use it provided conditions are followed. Using it is one of those conditions.

    If Apple then registered the trademark in its own name before Cisco started shipping a product, Apple would own the right to the trademark. As it stands right now, the trademark office is considering whether Cisco 1) deceived it in claiming it was using the trademark, and 2) whether it abandoned the trademark.

    Apple also has other reasonable arguments. The point is it is not clear Cisco owns the right to use the trademark at Apple's expense. Moreover, Cisco hardly seems to have the higher ground. Cisco traded off Apple's fame by coming up with the name iPhone. Apple started the whole "i" naming convention.

    Second, how is a lawyer making more money by delaying a filing? First, it is in the lawyer's best interest for this thing to go to trial. That is where the big bucks are made. It is in Apple's best interest that this thing gets settled quickly. Accordingly, delaying a filing for the parties to talk is a possible win for Apple and Cisco.

    Both parties know a trial is risky. Both know a trial will be expensive. Both parties probably actually want to have a working relationship.

    Moreover, Apple's own salaried lawyers probably will control the settlement talks.

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.

toggle

Network Headlines

toggle

Most Popular

MacNN Sponsor

Recent Reviews

Life n Soul 8 Driver Bluetooth headphones

When it comes to music on the go, consumers generally have some options to consider when looking for the best experience. While Blueto ...

Pure Jongo T2 wireless speaker

Multi-room audio compatibility is a key metric for wireless sound systems these days. The entry cost into a house-spanning system can ...

Logitech Z213 multimedia speakers

Desktop computer speakers sit in a weird area of limbo: many consumers have forgone the era of desktop listening for the privacy and v ...

toggle

Most Commented