How much is the iPhone name worth?

How much is the iPhone name worth?

Summary: I pinged several people at Macworld, including Apple executives regarding what's behind Apple's use of the iPhone name, given than Cisco owns it.


I pinged several people at Macworld, including Apple executives regarding what's behind Apple's use of the iPhone name, given than Cisco owns it. Cisco issued a lawyerly statement earlier in the day indicating that the two companies are close to working out some agreement that allows Apple to use the name:

"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 statements that were distributed to them last night and that address a few remaining items we expect to receive a signed agreement today." 

Just what terms Apple is agreeing to remains to be seen. Steve Jobs is the best negotiator in the business, but if he wants to use the iPhone name he is not necessarily in the best negotiating position. And given, the iPhone is more than a phone (MP3 player, camera, browser, organizer, Mac OS X machine), why the fixation on iPhone. If iTV can become Apple TV, which it did today, why not have an Apple Phone? Of course, iPhone gets the attention of phone buyers, a huge and entirely new market for Apple to plow. So what kind of horse trading is Jobs doing with Cisco?

 [poll id=37]


Topic: Apple

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  • Whatever it is called is not important...

    ...hopefully they will work things out to everyone's benefit - especially the
    • You would think so...

      I certainly thought that going into yesterday but Apple seems to have thought that iPhone was worth more than any other name.
  • Cisco is a squatter

    People associate names like iPhone, iTV, iMac etc with Apple. Cisco shamelessly patented just the name without a decent product to go with it. They look like squatters rather than innovators.
  • Cisco <> squatter

    psst -- The "iPhone" name was created by InfoGear in 1996. Cisco acquired the company in 2000.

    Apple is not the be-all and end-all of innovation, despite what Steve Jobs tells you to think.
  • innovation is in the product not in the name

    If I were Cicco,i would rename the phone simply not to confuse the public even if I bought a company that owned the name. iMacs existed before mid 90s. The gear fompany Cisco bought was a squatter. But Cisco ought to hold itself to higher standards.
    • re: innovation is in the product

      My point is that the "iPhone" name was trademarked before Apple ever sold an iMac, iPod, or iAnything. iMac came out in 1998, two years after iPhone was trademarked. You're giving Apple way too much credit.

      As for the "squatter" thing -- every company, including Apple, is sitting on unused trademarks. You have to trademark a name before using it. If you're going to hate on a company for being a "squatter," you might as well start with Apple.

      You're correct that Cisco might want to change the name; otherwise its iPhone will always be second fiddle to Apple's (and the situation will only get worse if Apple's iPhone tanks). I'd agree that Cisco probably got a sweet deal out of this.
    • Beware the Apple Zombies

      So Apple should own EVERY word in the language with an "i" in front of it? If Apple launched fertilizer called the iTurd, legions of Apple Zombies would line up to pay twice the market rate for it. Really sad.
  • Message has been deleted.

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  • RE: How much is the iPhone name worth?

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