Blog Post

Battle for iPhone … Cisco Sues Apple

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

We were only just talking about the awkwardly worded press statement by Cisco Systems about the iPhone brand and its possible offer to Apple. It seems like that conversation (or offer) did not go anywhere, and now Cisco is suing Apple for infringing on its brand name. Cisco lawyers weigh in on the issue as well.

“Cisco entered into negotiations with Apple in good faith after Apple repeatedly asked permission to use Cisco’s iPhone name,” said Mark Chandler, senior vice president and general counsel, Cisco. “There is no doubt that Apple’s new phone is very exciting, but they should not be using our trademark without our permission.

“Today’s iPhone is not tomorrow’s iPhone. The potential for convergence of the home phone, cell phone, work phone and PC is limitless, which is why it is so important for us to protect our brand,” Chandler concluded.

Add this lawsuit to the list of all the questions, troubles and doubts about the Apple Phone that have cropped up in last 24 hours. I am trying to put it all together, but frankly even I am getting the iPhone fatigue.

Meanwhile guys, any name suggestions for Apple and their “phone?”

Hat tip: Cisco news team for leaving the comment, and giving us an early heads up.

58 Responses to “Battle for iPhone … Cisco Sues Apple”

  1. Victor Blake

    I second the idea for aPhone because a is logical for apple and besides. It is really a phone.

    Altneratively jPhone (because j comes after i so it must be newer and better).

  2. I was thinking of something along the lines of the iLife branding. As stated above it’s this cool slick device that is user friendly, helps you through your day and it also can make phone calls. Maybe iLife mobile, iLifeGo, iLifePod or iMove. I think a name that invokes a sense of action is good line to follow.

  3. Well, that definitely backs up the theory that Cisco released its own iPhone for negotiating leverage. They aren’t planning on rolling over here, apparently, and by faux-establishing their product in the market, they can claim legitimate consumer confusion due to the name.

  4. Apple can’t steal someone else’s property (trademark) just because they’re kewl. ;-)

    Cisco has owned that brand for a long time and used it in commerce. It doesn’t matter if everyone calls Apple’s gadget the iPhone instead of Cisco’s. Cisco can still sue Apple if they use it. I’ll bet Cisco has a lot of lawyers…

    BTW, my vote is iHype

  5. Ryan Griffin

    They didn’t call iPod the “iPlayer”, to the points of so many above, “iPhone” does not even make sense here.

    To me, the critical point of this device is ACCESS. If we take this and go with the cliched Latin route, we get “Accesio”…a dumb name, and also one already registered by a global consulting firm. But what’s most interesting about this is another Latin meaning for the term…that is”appendage”. Sorry, but I personally find that cool as shit, as lame as the name would be.

    Other pivot points for me are the notions of a connection, a link, an enabler, a partner (apologies, T-Mobile)…someone smarter than myself with come up with something.

  6. Yeah, but one bad Apple Inc in Cisco’s barrel could translate into future damages in an emerging VoIP market. Cisco’s holding the winning hand. Just need not to blink or leave the table too soon.

    Apple’s maybe crossed an expensive legal line… Wouldn’t be the first time. Won’t be the last.

    Still, everyone who gives a rip identifies the “iPhone” with Apple.

  7. Here’s the thing about this: it really doesn’t matter all that much what Apple or Cisco choose to do now. Apple has already come out with an absolute killer of a launch, and branded the thing deep into the minds of all who lust after it.

    It IS the iPhone, now and forever – no matter who wins or how Apple may or may not be required to re-label it.

    Apple could even quietly concede, call it the “Apple Phone” and move on, they’ve already won.

    You just know that 2 years from now, when the product has become firmly established as a major game-changer and the defining geek gadget of the age, everyone will be calling it the iPhone anyway. What the heck else would one call it?

    If Jobs was crazy to come out and call it the iPhone, knowing that Cisco would go nuts, perhaps he was crazy like a fox…

  8. iPhone is not the right name anyway. It is more than a phone.
    Personal iMac?
    iMac Mobile?

    Apple should just take all the money they would spend on legal fees and pay a branding firm to come up with a different name. They would end up with a cool name like iViagra or iWi-Fi.

  9. In some other forums, some believe Apple could win this because they are soooo associated with the letter “i”. Trademark law turns in many different ways. Wasn’t your first thought when Cisco introduced iPhone, or saw the announcement headline, Apple?

  10. iPod Communicator?

    I really didn’t like the name iPhone to begin with. (I though MacBook Pro was a pretty choice also.) It’s so much more then just a phone or a smart phone for that matter. Further, the phone features are its weakest features IMHO. Hearing that they didn’t have permission and that Cisco is (rightfully) suing just blows my mind. What were they thinking?