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Apple, Cisco resume talks over iPhone trademark

In a short statement issued by both companies, Apple Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. said they have agreed to restart negotiations over Apple’s use of the trademark “iPhone,” which Cisco claims it owns. The issue stems from Apple’s unveiling of its forthcoming iPhone cellphone, and Cisco’s subsequent trademark lawsuit.
Just one day after Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced the iPhone, Cisco filed suit over the iPhone trademark, which it said it acquired in 2000.
“Apple’s infringement constitutes a willful and malicious violation of Cisco’s trademark rights, aimed at preventing Cisco from continuing to build a business around a mark that it has long possessed,” Cisco said in its lawsuit.
Industry insiders and technology enthusiasts had expected the move by Cisco, which secured the trademark when it bought Infogear, a manufacturer of iPhone-branded products. Infogear originally filed for the iPhone trademark in 1996, Cisco claimed. Cisco has been shipping Voice over IP products under the iPhone brand for a year.
Apple’s iPhone announcement followed years of negotiations between the two companies over the iPhone brand, according to the lawsuit.
Now, it appears Apple is willing to return to the bargaining table in order to secure the right to the iPhone trademark without aggravation from Cisco.


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