Cisco squares off with Apple off over "iPhone" moniker

Cisco squares off with Apple off over "iPhone" moniker

Summary: Cisco has taken Apple, Inc. to court over the use of their "iPhone" trademark.


Cisco's iPhoneCisco has taken Apple, Inc. to court over the use of their "iPhone" trademark:

Cisco today announced that it has filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California against Apple, Inc., seeking to prevent Apple from infringing upon and deliberately copying and using Cisco’s registered iPhone trademark.

Our own Larry Dignan thinks that Apple's use of a trademarked word for one of the most important products they've ever launched smacks of arrogance. If you want to read more ZDNet has posted the entire Cisco v Apple Trademark Infringement, Unfair Competition Complaint document.

What's not clear is what Apple was thinking using the name "iPhone" when Linksys (a division of Cisco) clearly has a trademark on it. What's known is that Apple has been negotiating with Cisco for use of the term for quite a while but the two haven't been able to come to terms. is allowing customer to bet on the outcome:

[poll id=20]
[poll id=21] 

What do you think? Vote in our polls then click through for the odds... odds:

1. Will Cisco win their lawsuit against Apple Inc. over the "iPhone" trademark?

Yes is the slight favorite with odds of 14/19 (-135), while No is only slightly behind with at 19/20 (-105).

2. Will Apple Inc. be forced to change the name of the iPhone due to Cisco's trademark?

No is the overwhelming favorite in this case, with odds of 1/9 (-900), while Yes is the highly unlikely underdog at 5/1 (+500). 

Topic: Cisco

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  • Cisco case appears to be weak

    There are already other phone products on the market with iPhone in their name.
    The fact that Cisco has not shut these companies down severely weakens their
    position. If you don't aggressively defend a trademark or copyright, the courts do
    not generally give you a lot of sympathy.

    Secondly, Apple states that their iPhone is in a different market segment, and
    Cisco has AGREED, in writing, but then follows up with: "Well, if we add features in
    the future, they may not be."

    That's a very weak argument, and a court is not going to be so friendly to a
    company that says, you can't use that name in a market we MAY get into three
    years from now.

    Apple's chance of winning this are better than 50-50, IMO.
    • No, it looks strong

      The court document says that when Apple couldn't secure the rights to the mark, they went about it "surreptitiously." This is a willing and deliberate infringement on Cisco's property. Cisco didn't "agree" yet because Apple failed to agree with Cisco. It's a two-way thing.
      glocks out
  • Iphone to iMobile

    let's take odds on that.