Tiernan Ray (Barron's) submits: Apple, Inc. (AAPL) chief executive Steve Jobs had heads spinning during his keynote today when he revealed the company will use the name "iPhone" for its new cellular phone -- how could they, given that networker Cisco Systems (CSCO) holds the trademark in the U.S. for that name, and already came out with a product with the name iPhone last month?
Well, Eric, who's out at CES and just wrapped up coverage of Cisco chief executive John Chambers's keynote, got the skinny straight from Cisco.
Eric got the following comment from Cisco senior PR manager John Noh (thanks, Eric!!):
Cisco's Official Comment to the Apple iPhone Announcement at MacWorld (Jan. 9)
Given Apple's numerous requests for permission to use Cisco's iPhone trademark over the past several years and our extensive discussions with them recently, it is our belief that with their announcement today, Apple intends to agree to the final document and public statement that were distributed to them last night and that addressed a few remaining items. We expect to receive a signed agreement today.
We will not be providing further comment at this time but will update you as soon as possible, should developments warrant an update. In the mean time, please feel free to call or email me if I can be of further help.
Senior PR Manager
Huh, so Cisco was almost as surprised as the rest of us were by Jobs's use of the name today. Well, sounds like Jobs offered Chambers a free phone and a free two-year subscription to Cingular service, and maybe threw in a $25 gift certificate to the iTunes store.