In an official court filing, Apple and Cisco have agreed to extend the deadline for negotiations over the "iPhone" trademark until February 15th. A joint statement simply reads:
Apple and Cisco have agreed to extend the time for Apple to respond to the lawsuit to allow for discussions between the companies with the aim of reaching agreement on trademark rights and interoperability.
Company officials had nothing more to say beyond repeating the statement. However, unnamed sources familiar with the negotiations have confirmed the new date and indicated that the ongoing talks were promising. The filing is expected to be made public in 2-3 days.
The dispute started when Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced the Apple iPhone on January 9th. The next day, Cisco filed a lawsuit charging Apple with trademark infringement. Some experts questioned the strength of Cisco's trademark, while an Apple spokesman called the lawsuit "silly". Cisco, however, insisted it had taken "all actions necessary" to hold the mark.
Recent developments, sources say, indicate an improved tone in the companies' discussions, and there is new hope that they can resolve their differences in the next couple of weeks.