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Apple, Cisco trade shots over iPhone lawsuit

post #1 of 85
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In the wake of a lawsuit filed by Cisco over Apple's alleged misuse of the iPhone trademark, the two companies on Thursday escalated the level of rhetoric in their claims to the hotly-contested product name.

Apple has broken the silence it maintained regarding its rights to use the iPhone name for its recently unveiled cellphone. An official statement issued by the company to its spokespeople flatly denied the legitimacy of the suit filed in federal court on Wednesday, characterizing Cisco's filing as both "silly" and "tenuous at best."

"We're the first company to ever use the iPhone name for a cellphone," the statement said. "If Cisco wants to challenge us on it, we're very confident we'll prevail."

In contrast, Cisco representatives have followed their own official statement with relatively candid responses, adopting an at once conciliatory and defensive tone. The network supplier maintained that it had no hostile intent against Apple and was merely protecting what it believed it rightly owned.

Speaking with the Wall Street Journal, spokesman John Earnhardt expressed hopes that the lawsuit would not need to continue. "We still hope we can reach an agreement," he said, "but when your neighbor steals your property, you have no recourse other than to call the cops and file a complaint."

Cisco senior VP Mark Chandler was equally quick to defend his employer's approach in his corporate blog. He reiterated the company's formal claim that it has owned the iPhone trademark since 2000, following the buyout of an Internet phone developer named Infogear Technology, and that it had no financial or idealist grudges against its purported competitor. Infogear first registered the trademark in 1996.

"This is not a suit against Apples innovation, their modern design, or their cool phone. It is not a suit about money or royalties. This is a suit about trademark infringement," Chandler wrote. "This is a suit about trademark infringement."

The lawsuit -- coupled with some profit taking -- also triggered a small-scale retreat in the value of Apple's stock, which dipped by $1.20 to $95.80 by the close of the market Thursday evening. Financial agencies Bear Stearns and UBS had previously raised their estimates for Apple, triggering a dramatic surge to $97 in advance of today's news.
post #2 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"We're the first company to ever use the iPhone name for a cellphone," the statement said. "If Cisco wants to challenge us on it, we're very confident we'll prevail."

And yet they sue because the iBuzz vibrator is too similar to an iPod??

http://sexonmydesk.ivillage.com/love...a_lawsuit.html
post #3 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by retroneo View Post

And yet they sue because the iBuzz vibrator is too similar to an iPod??

http://sexonmydesk.ivillage.com/love...a_lawsuit.html

Actually IIRC, I thought this lawsuit had something to do with their advertising spoofing the silhouette iPod ads ... which Apple was in turn sued over because Lugz thought they were copying them...
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post #4 of 85
It took Cisco seven years to come with that? Come on, we all know they sat on that name until the iPod became a household name and are now just riding on it's success. If Cisco does technically have the legal right to the iPhone name Apple should just rename it phone, add VOIP and show them up.

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post #5 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1984 View Post

It took Cisco seven years to come with that? Come on, we all know they sat on that name until the iPod became a household name and are now just riding on it's success. If Cisco does technically have the legal right to the iPhone name Apple should just rename it ?phone, add VOIP and show them up.


what did you do to make that apple?
post #6 of 85
I can understand what Cisco is talkin about, but i'm sure they will work this out pretty quickly. A deal was in the works to begin with.
post #7 of 85
LOL@show Cisco up in VoIP technology.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1984 View Post

It took Cisco seven years to come with that? Come on, we all know they sat on that name until the iPod became a household name and are now just riding on it's success. If Cisco does technically have the legal right to the iPhone name Apple should just rename it phone, add VOIP and show them up.
post #8 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cato988 View Post

what did you do to make that apple?

Shift + Option + K =  !!!! Rejoice!
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post #9 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by AgNuke1707 View Post

Shift + Option + K = ? !!!! Rejoice!

?!!! haha awesome


thats going to make things so much easier for appleinsiders now when refering to any "?" products


thanks nuke
post #10 of 85
"when your neighbor gives their newborn baby the same name as your ugly little pet, you have no recourse other than to call the cops and file a complaint."

Duh.


Well, *if* Cisco can prove that they didn't name their fictional phone "iPhone" for a free ride on the iPod trend, *and* at the same time convincing the court why they didn't react when other companies used the iPhone namne - well, then they'll probably win...

...and the Apple "iPhone" will become the "AppleiPhone" (iPhone).

So?
post #11 of 85
They mostly come out at night...mostly.
post #12 of 85
Leaches
the bigger the lights , the more moths are attracted

Cisco could have sued others for using "iphone" but apple is bigger and has more money,

long live the  iPhone
post #13 of 85
Cisco isn't planning on using the name the same way apple plans to. Apple want to use as a iphone, but cisco is more in line with IP phone, but went for the short version. I think their lawsuit is valid, but the two sides will work it out.
post #14 of 85
I've been told several times over the years that if you have a patent or TM you have to defend it if you want to keep it. I think that,basically, Cisco's attorneys have said the suit needs to be files in order to avoid the loss of the TM. The suit, therefore, shouldn't get in the way of discussions between Apple & Cisco - let's face it, Apple defends it rights as well.
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post #15 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1984 View Post

It took Cisco seven years to come with that? Come on, we all know they sat on that name until the iPod became a household name and are now just riding on it's success. If Cisco does technically have the legal right to the iPhone name Apple should just rename it ?phone, add VOIP and show them up.

Cisco has been selling products with that name for a year. Even if they were sitting on it, it wouldn't matter.
post #16 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kendoka View Post

"when your neighbor gives their newborn baby the same name as your ugly little pet, you have no recourse other than to call the cops and file a complaint."

Duh.


Well, *if* Cisco can prove that they didn't name their fictional phone "iPhone" for a free ride on the iPod trend, *and* at the same time convincing the court why they didn't react when other companies used the iPhone namne - well, then they'll probably win...

...and the Apple "iPhone" will become the "AppleiPhone" (?iPhone).

So?

Let's see. InfoGear, which they bought in 2000, registered the name in 1996.

So, I guess you're right. They used their crysyal ball to see into Apple's future, and then stole that name.
post #17 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by iconsumer View Post

Leaches
the bigger the lights , the more moths are attracted

Cisco could have sued others for using "iphone" but apple is bigger and has more money,

long live the ? iPhone

Uh, no.
post #18 of 85
!
post #19 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by iconsumer View Post

Leaches
the bigger the lights , the more moths are attracted

Cisco could have sued others for using "iphone" but apple is bigger and has more money,

long live the  iPhone

FANBOI ALERT!!!
post #20 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chucker View Post

FANBOI ALERT!!!

guilty as charged 8)
post #21 of 85
It puts the iphone in the lawsuit, IT PUTS THE IPHONE IN THE BASKET.
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post #22 of 85
"This is not a suit against Apple’s innovation, their modern design, or their cool phone. It is not a suit about money or royalties. This is a suit about trademark infringement," Chandler wrote. "This is a suit about trademark infringement."

Cisco's already afraid. Very, very afraid. Like an animal trapped in the corner. Did you notice??? 
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post #23 of 85
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Originally Posted by saschke View Post

"This is not a suit against Apple’s innovation, their modern design, or their cool phone. It is not a suit about money or royalties. This is a suit about trademark infringement," Chandler wrote. "This is a suit about trademark infringement."

Cisco's already afraid. Very, very afraid. Like an animal trapped in the corner. Did you notice??? ???

No, not really.

But, this isn't just about the trademark, it's also about he part in the agreement about both Apple's and Cisco's equipment working together.

Apple hates that! They shouldn't have led Cisco on during the past 6 months.

Too bad, really.

It would be better for both companies.

Apple might have a big part in consumer life these days, but Cisco controls the way we will be using the internet in a technical way. The two working together would truely give us some amazing products.

But, Apple, with Jobs, is infamous for not wanting to work with other companies unless Apple feels as though it has no choice.

Cisco is far too big, and rich, for Apple to push around.
post #24 of 85
Didn't apple start off the whole iName thing with the iMac and therefore could TM the whole iRange in one swoop, just an idea!
post #25 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by gremlin View Post

Didn't apple start off the whole iName thing with the iMac and therefore could TM the whole iRange in one swoop, just an idea!

No, it doesn't work that way. As far as I know, the iPhone name was registered before the first iMac even came out.

Even if the iMac came out first, no one can get an open ended trademark.

Apple would have been smart to have registered all names for products that they could possibly think of. But, Apple isn't always smart. They have made many mistakes Filing patent applications too late, etc.
post #26 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by AgNuke1707 View Post

Shift + Option + K =  !!!! Rejoice!

Is there any particular reason for that letter? K isn't even in the name of the fruit or anything else that's easy to remember. Is that the only one left after they add all the internationalization characters? Shift Option A would make more sense to me, but it gives me the angstrom symbol (Å). I know that's a real character from a real language, but I don't know what it is otherwise. S-O-P gives me a capital "Pi" - ∏. The only mnemonic I can think of is "apple trademarK". I'm not sure how I can argue that any of these examples are consistent or easy to remember without a major stretch of a mnemonic like my example.
post #27 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Is there any particular reason for that letter? K isn't even in the name of the fruit or anything else that's easy to remember. Is that the only one left after they add all the internationalization characters? Shift Option A would make more sense to me, but it gives me the angstrom symbol (Å). I know that's a real character from a real language, but I don't know what it is otherwise. S-O-P gives me a capital "Pi" - ?. The only mnemonic I can think of is "apple trademarK". I'm not sure how I can argue that any of these examples are consistent or easy to remember without a major stretch of a mnemonic like my example.

The Apple logo, being a private mark, has to fit wherever it can. International characters are far more important. It's also only available in fonts that don't also use that designatiod combination.
post #28 of 85
If apple doesn't get what they want, they change the name... Even on apple it isn't JUST called iPhone...

Plus criminal Steve 'called' it iPhone... Like he called Apple TV, 'iTV'.
post #29 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by EruIthildur View Post

If apple doesn't get what they want, they change the name... Even on apple it isn't JUST called iPhone...

Plus criminal Steve 'called' it iPhone... Like he called Apple TV, 'iTV'.

And don't be stupid with this "criminal Steve" thing, you don't have to prove anything.
post #30 of 85
Apple should change the name. It's way more than a phone... much more!
Too bad they already used iLife as it would suit it well!
post #31 of 85
Cisco wanted to produce a Linksys iTV device, and have access to other Apple treasures like iTunes. Someone at Cisco noticed they owned the name "iPhone" (as in iMac, iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, iPod), and saw it as a huge bargaining chip. Cisco slapped it on a product so they could bargain from strength, and offered Apple the name in return for... money + interoperability. Apple didn't mind the money, but Cisco's "interoperability"(code for "a Linksys piece of the iTV iTunes iPod pie") was unacceptable. Apple said here's more money; Cisco insisted on interoperability; Apple said, iDontThinkSo, let the courts decide.

Apple may or may not win/settle the case, but they will certainly NOT let someone use an unintentionally acquired name to weasle their way into Apple's carefully built ecosystem.
post #32 of 85


If you go to the USPTO website trademark section iPhone (you need to type in the word iphone as the actual link will timeout eventually) that tells an interesting story. For instance the original trademark was for "IPHONE" not "iPhone" and the original trademark filing (by a different company (?)) looks to have been inactive until Cisco took up the charge in March 2004. Long after the whole "i" followed by a capitalized word thing was around thanks to Apple. And we all know that the iPhone rumors have been around for at least the last what 2 years? There are also 2 other "iPhone" trademarks filed by other teleco's within the last year or so.

IMHO I do think Apple has a case here, given the history of the whole "i" followed by a capitalized word thing and given the Apple iPhone rumors. And yes I do realize that many companies have also capitalized on the whole "i" followed by a capitalized word thing, but Apple started the whole thing with their iPod and iTunes franchise.

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post #33 of 85
Quote:
"We're the first company to ever use the iPhone name for a cellphone,"

Uh huh... So they think that Linksys's line of VoIP WiFi phones are substantially different from their iPhone, and is therefore not infringing?

I hope this goes to court and they try to make this argument. Then the argument will gain a lot more legitimacy when used by all of the people Apple is suing over completely unrelated devices with "pod" in the name.
post #34 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by shamino View Post

Uh huh... So they think that Linksys's line of VoIP WiFi phones are substantially different from their iPhone, and is therefore not infringing?

I hope this goes to court and they try to make this argument. Then the argument will gain a lot more legitimacy when used by all of the people Apple is suing over completely unrelated devices with "pod" in the name.



Perhaps Apple is seeing some free PR value in this? By the time everyone files motions, goes to court, appeals are filed, your 2-year Cingular contract will have expired! In the meantime Apple get's to use the iPhone moniker and get's free PR value.

Apple loses and rebrands it iGadget (or something). So what, who cares, big deal! But in the end whatever the name is will probably have a higher public profile, which I think serves Apple's real purpose (and perhaps Cisco's)!

Remember there was an argeement waiting for Apple to sign (or so it is rumored) and they walked away. What does that tell you about the situation?

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post #35 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by shamino View Post

Uh huh... So they think that Linksys's line of VoIP WiFi phones are substantially different from their iPhone, and is therefore not infringing?

They're not a cellphone. They don't use a cellular network. Therefore, "We're the first company to ever use the iPhone name for a cellphone" is perfectly accurate. They're phones, but not cellphones.
post #36 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by purpleshorts View Post

Cisco wanted to produce a Linksys iTV device, and have access to other Apple treasures like iTunes. Someone at Cisco noticed they owned the name "iPhone" (as in iMac, iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, iPod), and saw it as a huge bargaining chip. Cisco slapped it on a product so they could bargain from strength, and offered Apple the name in return for... money + interoperability. Apple didn't mind the money, but Cisco's "interoperability"(code for "a Linksys piece of the iTV iTunes iPod pie") was unacceptable. Apple said here's more money; Cisco insisted on interoperability; Apple said, iDontThinkSo, let the courts decide.

Apple may or may not win/settle the case, but they will certainly NOT let someone use an unintentionally acquired name to weasle their way into Apple's carefully built ecosystem.

Exactly - Cisco is the scumbag in this situation. I bet that they never even planned on calling their ip phone the iPhone until they came up with this plan to extort money from apple.

I am boycotting Cisco/Linksys now because I think that they showed poor character by pulling this stunt. I hope that apple doesn't give them any money, renames the phone the phone, and sues them if they try to use iPhone outside the US (because I think that apple has the rights to the name in the rest of the world, if I understand things correctly).
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post #37 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chucker View Post

They're not a cellphone. They don't use a cellular network. Therefore, "We're the first company to ever use the iPhone name for a cellphone" is perfectly accurate. They're phones, but not cellphones.



That's true, Cisco will have to prove that their ™ covers the class of the devices that the iPhone is in. If the ™ is too generic, i. e. covers to much territory, it's an uphill battle for the ™ holder, since they have to show actual products covering all segments in the ™ IMHO.

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post #38 of 85
Several good points above, the iPhone name was trademarked in 1996 (if I read correctly), Cisco purchased the company in 2000, but didn't actually use the name till several months ago, long after the 'iPhone' rumors started. Apple really did start the whole 'i'- product naming trend, and coupled with the fact the phone effort that Apple has been working on has been dubbed the 'iPhone' by the media for the last year at least, Apple may have a valid argument in court. This looks more and more like Cisco trying to capitalize on the "iPhone" name and leverage it to get some inoperability, or money, from Apple. That being said filing the lawsuit was probably just a formality, I expect after all the posturing there will be an agreement.
post #39 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by skipjakk View Post

Several good points above, the iPhone name was trademarked in 1996 (if I read correctly), Cisco purchased the company in 2000, but didn't actually use the name till several months ago, long after the 'iPhone' rumors started. Apple really did start the whole 'i'- product naming trend, and coupled with the fact the phone effort that Apple has been working on has been dubbed the 'iPhone' by the media for the last year at least, Apple may have a valid argument in court. This looks more and more like Cisco trying to capitalize on the "iPhone" name and leverage it to get some inoperability, or money, from Apple. That being said filing the lawsuit was probably just a formality, I expect after all the posturing there will be an agreement.

Doesn't really matter who or what has been calling the iPhone an Apple product, unless a judge could be convinced it has become a common (i.e.: generic) name. This would be bad for Apple also. They should make the deal with Cisco or be prepared to go with ApplePhone.

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post #40 of 85
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Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Doesn't really matter who or what has been calling the iPhone an Apple product, unless a judge could be convinced it has become a common (i.e.: generic) name. This would be bad for Apple also. They should make the deal with Cisco or be prepared to go with ApplePhone.



Seriously, are you a ™ attorney? Because if you are then you're opinion would carry some weight. Myself, I don't have a clue, I'm just looking at the facts as I know them, those facts suggest to me at least, that there are some merits Apple has here (legal and/or PR wise).

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