Apple & Cisco Settle iPhone Name Dispute
Apple and Cisco Systems Inc. have settled their trademark dispute over the name iPhone that had threatened to mire the introduction of Apple’s first cell phone. Under the settlement, Cisco and Apple stated both companies are free to use the iPhone trademark on their respective products throughout the world. Cisco will drop a lawsuit it filed against Apple in federal court in San Francisco, accusing Apple of infringing a Cisco trademark with a forthcoming cellphone called the iPhone, due out in June on the Cingular network.
In a joint statement, Apple and Cisco said they will explore opportunities for making their products work better together “in the areas of security, and consumer and enterprise communications.” The companies said other terms of the settlement are confidential, declining further comment.
Cisco has held a trademark on the iPhone name since 2000, when it acquired a company called Infogear Technology that made an Internet-connected telephone. Last spring, Cisco unveiled a new line of phones bearing the iPhone name that use voice over Internet protocol, or VoIP, technology to transmit calls over the Internet. Cisco officials had insisted they were not out to exact money from Apple, but wanted to forge a deal that would allow the two companies products to work well together.
The Future: This is certainly not a shock. Cisco’s willingness to continue talks past the latest deadline signaled to industry watchers that they were willing to play ball. The truth is, Cisco wants Apple’s mojo, and was willing to do anything to get on Apple CEO’s Steve Jobs good side.