Apple in trouble over 'iPhone' brand

Written by Ryan Garside

January 11, 2007 | 16:15

Tags: #iphone #law #lawsuit

Companies: #apple #cisco

Steve Jobs and Apple could be in a little bit of trouble after the announcement of the swanky looking iPhone. Apparently, network-equipment maker Cisco Systems, own the name and had not finalised an agreement with Apple, giving it permission to use the brand name.

The implications for this are numerous. First and foremost it looks like the iPhone will have to have a name change. Perhaps something along the lines of iMobile or iCell (give Mr. Jobs some of your own ideas in the forum) might work. Alternatively Apple will have to pay Cisco royalties to use the brand. Now, however, after so much publicity the cost for Apple could be pretty hefty with Cisco now in a position to demand what it wants.

Senior vice President Mark Chandler had this to say about the confusion:

"Cisco entered into negotiations with Apple in good faith after Apple repeatedly asked permission to use Cisco's iPhone name. There is no doubt that Apple's new phone is very exciting, but they should not be using our trademark without our permission.

"Today's iPhone is not tomorrow's iPhone. The potential for convergence of the home phone, cell phone, work phone and PC is limitless, which is why it is so important for us to protect our brand."


In typical, shrug-ya-shoulders Apple style, Apple spokesman Alan Hely said to the BBC: "We think Cisco's trademark lawsuit is silly." Acting childishly won't get you anywhere Alan. He then went on to say:

"We are the first company to ever use the iPhone name for a cell phone, and if Cisco wants to challenge us on it we are very confident we will prevail."

Am I the only person who feels like these multi-million dollar clashes between massive corporations are not dissimilar to the historic wars of medieval Kings? Surely the iPhone will have to have a name change to avoid such an expensive lawsuit? Let us know your predictions in the forum.
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