“iPhone” Troubles: Cisco is Suing


I asked earlier if anyone knew how Apple was using the iPhone name when it belongs to Cisco and their VOIP handset. Then I pointed to a ZDNet post that made it sound as if Apple and Cisco were working things out. Then just 12 minutes ago, this came up on Yahoo:
Cisco Sues Apple Over User of iPhone Name

Uh, oh. Cisco’s statement makes it sound an awful lot like they’re not willing to budge for Apple on this one. What do you think? I think I hope it’s not called iPhone when it launches in June…

EDIT: Per Weldon’s comment, the Cisco News Release



Apparently things have been worked out between the Cisco and Apple. They’re going to just work on getting their products more compatible with each other. I wonder if the lawsuit was even a real one to begin with. It’s not like Cisco was even suing for money. Guess this is what they wanted initially.

Check out my blog for a preview of the iPhone features

Steve Cannon

Some of you guys are unbelievable!! Apple is Litigation-Larry when it comes to anyone even coming close to their “Names” and such. There are numerous cases where Apple made people give up their domain names and close sites down and most recently they have been attacking bloggers who talk about the PocketPC mod to make Windows Mobile 5 look like iPhone BUT when someone comes after them to give them a taste of their own medicine, you Steve Jobs lemmings make comments like “It is a shame” and “I can’t believe that Cisco is being so juvenile about the whole thing”. I like Apple and Steve Jobs is cool but hypocrisy Sucks!!


Also, from what I understand, there could be an issue of Abandonment. The fact that Cisco did not have a product for a period of years after the trademark was issued. Not being a lawyer, I have no clue as to the merit but it has been discussed on a number of lawyer blogs. Should be interesting. Hell, who knows, maybe could be ‘creative’ly bought off for 100 million?


Should have named it the pPod, or even better, the iQphone including qode®…www.qode.com


and this is very interesting:The application to bag the word “IPHONE” was lodged by Apple Computer Inc on October 17, 2002 – a year after the first iPod rolled off its Chinese production line.” Did Cisco buy infogear infogear in 2002?


followup! iphone.org > apple. iphone.net > ???
i think this is going to be interesting. Cisco may not have what they think they have.

Yasser Dahab

Man, Nick, you beat me to the punch on this one.

I can’t believe that Cisco is being so juvenile about the whole thing. I realize that you have to protect your trademark, but come on! If the two companies really were discussing licensing, then why bother wasting so much money on legal fees over a trademark on a product that no one was buying anyway.

Of course, Apple kind of dug them selves into this one too. After the success of the iPod, iMac, iLife, and i…everything, it’s no surprise that other companies are picking up the prefix in an effort to make products sound sexier.


I think the best name for the phone should be, “iMobile” if they cant get “iPhone”. =)

Grant (divigation)

I love the idea that it will be something other than iPhone. It really is a shame to consider how brilliant this device is and then call it something like an iPhone.


No he isn’t. He is letting people get used to the phone being an iPod. I think they knew this would happen all along. The price they will pay for attorney’s to fight this will be worth its weight in gold in free publicity. Then after all the media keeps reporting it between now and June, they will say, “OK, call it the Apple Phone.”

But in all the time between then and now, we hear about the iphone every week (or more)

Nick Santilli

John –
Thanks so much for the comments. I fully agree and understand your position. Being that I dig both companies (as a Cisco Engineer and a crazy Apple fan) it’d be nice to see both work things out amicably. I also hope that Apple gives up the ghost and renames their iPhone, as the i-names are beyond old.


it’s a shame for a company like cisco to sue apple for just a name.
we are not talking about patents here.
It is just a name(4-5 words).

John Earnhardt

COMMENT FROM CISCO – Intellectual property is the lifeblood of Silicon Valley and we all have to protect our property. The iPhone trademark is owned by Cisco, as noted in your story. We had hoped to reach an agreement to share our trademark with Apple, yet they decided to use the name without our agreement, so we, unfortunately, are having to go to court to stop them from using the name. This is not about money. We still hope we can reach an agreement, but when your neighbor steals your property, you have no recourse other than to call the cops and file a complaint. Full Cisco statement at: http://newsroom.cisco.com/dlls/2007/corp_011007.html

Nick Santilli

I wondered the same thing Weldon. Starting a new trend with the Name could work. Much better than the over-done ‘i’ names.

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