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[MREVO8]
11th January 2007, 11:05 AM
A day after announcing negotiations between Apple and Cisco to let Apple licence the iPhone trademark...

http://www.smh.com.au/news/mobiles--handhelds/apple-faces-iphone-trademark-lawsuit/2007/01/11/1168105088972.html

tintinaujapon
11th January 2007, 11:14 AM
Someone's being greedy. Apple will have no doubt offered millions for the right to the name.

Rasta
11th January 2007, 11:18 AM
Still... Apple might have been suckered into it (become publicity hounds for Cisco without thinking too much about it)....

Cisco Says:
"Yeah, go for it, announce the name, we've only got a couple of things to iron out in the contract"

Cisco Means:
"Yeah go for it, announce the name, get the publicity then since the contacts aren't signed we'll scream blue murder that the name is infringing on our trademark of our division we really didn't have much bother with anyway...we still get millions for the name (eventually) and a bit of publicity about how we're such nice guys/gals when we eventually release the name"

graemie
11th January 2007, 11:19 AM
Also also mentioned here (http://forums.mactalk.com.au/showthread.php?t=26624&page=11post=#160), it's interesting that Apple holds the 'iPhone' trademark in Australia and the UK. Wouldn't it be ironic - yes it wouldn't happen but we can dream - if Apple was forced to release the iPhone in AUS and the UK FIRST and the US had to wait (and wait) and wait like the rest of us... :)

g.

Amzy
11th January 2007, 11:24 AM
you know graemie (http://forums.mactalk.com.au/member.php?u=2656)....dreaming is good but now u'r bordering the realms of impossibility. Neways CISCO..."Smart Bastards"

tempestas
11th January 2007, 11:32 AM
The lawsuit is a necessary part of the Intelectual property game. If CISCO don't sue then they are not vigourously defending their trademark and can't expect Apple to pay them much for it.

Note we mention both Apple and CISCO and iPhone. Gee thats a good bit of marketing

thebag
11th January 2007, 11:38 AM
I am surpised though that Apple cannot counter sue and take a few others to court for inappropriate use of the letter i.

After all they did pioneer imac and ibook and iPod.

Others have been using i such as iRiver for an exact same product.

I realise you cannot trademark a letter, but you would think they would have had some protection in place to prevent someone like Cisco beating them to the punch on an iPhone.

Danamania
11th January 2007, 11:45 AM
I am surpised though that Apple cannot counter sue and take a few others to court for inappropriate use of the letter i.

After all they did pioneer imac and ibook and iPod.

Others have been using i such as iRiver for an exact same product.

I realise you cannot trademark a letter, but you would think they would have had some protection in place to prevent someone like Cisco beating them to the punch on an iPhone.

Cisco (or the company they bought who owned the iPhone trademark, to be correct) beat Apple to the punch on the whole i thing, as the iPhone trademark dates before the original iMac, iBook, iCEO, iEverything... even predates Steve Jobs' return to Apple.

I imagine it'll be interesting watching it all pan out over the next few months. Perhaps the intellectual property sharing game may be played. It goes something like this.

Cisco: "hey, you can't use our trademark"
Apple: "Well we are"
Cisco: "ok, we're gonna sue you"
Apple: "Did you know your products infringe on 38 of our patents?"
Cisco: "Well yours infringe on dozens of ours"
Apple: "So shall we waste money on dragging it through the courts and feed a hundred lawyers, or just call it even?"
Cisco: "Damn you"

Dana

W2ttsy
11th January 2007, 11:45 AM
Cisco will have a tough time fighting this one and winning. If they entered into an agreement to allow apple to use the name, and then knowing full well it would be advertised, pulled the plug, then they wont favour well with a jury, or even a judge.

It will be classed as unfair business practices, and even fraud/entrapment. Surely Apple's lawyers will be all over this and im sure it will dissappear just as easily as the carl sagen and apple records copyright problems did.

another point to note is how apple are carefully placing the apple logo next to the iPhone in all their advertising. this demonstrates an extra element to the name, and thus not a direct breach of a trademark.

still, this is pretty tight, and Apple will be sure to paint Cisco in a nasty light. not a good move...

W2ttsy

Brains
11th January 2007, 12:39 PM
Precedent in US law will give Cisco the edge in this case, I'm afraid. Registered trademarks are what's at stake here, and in the US at least, Cisco hold iPhone. Steve can scream and throw his cancer-riddled tanties as much as he likes, but John Chambers is a stodgy perfectionist who's the head of a company with more money than Apple, and wider industry suppport to boot.

By calling Apple's gadget the iPhone before anything civil has been sealed on paper, Steve has earned John's permanent emnity. John is the kind of character who will see Cisco go broke before giving in.

I see a messy court battle, with the winner being Cisco, and Apple forced to use a different name (in the US at least).

No precedent? Think "iTV". Why didn't they pursue that name? Because ITV Holdings Limited UK have been around for longer than Apple Records have, and still have huge chunks in the media world wide. if Steve had stuck with it, there would have been no movies or TV shows for ITMS.

Steve thinks Cisco will give in. This time, he's wrong, and he's almost as stubborn as John. Considering Steve is still ill after his scare with pancreatic cancer (there's even gossip that Steve was wearing a body-suit to make him appear bulkier on stage!) he could push this to the further detriment of his health.


B.

Goodbye
11th January 2007, 12:42 PM
Why would Cisco have a hard time winning?

They hold the Trademark, I wouldn't have thought Apple would have much grounds for complaining...

markh
11th January 2007, 12:45 PM
CISCO only has the iPhone trademark in the US. Apple appears to have the iPhone trademark in other countries for many years, Is CISCO/Linksys selling their iPhone outside of the US in one of these countries that Apple has the iPhone trademark?... Counter suit?

Actually. .having just looked up the iphone trademarks, the descriptions of what the devices to (CISCO vs Apple). Apple may not have any issues. But then again, I'm not a lawyer.

Brains
11th January 2007, 12:51 PM
It won't be the first time a company has had to use different product names for the same device because of conflicting trademarks in different countries.

There won't be a countersuit, because most western countries (especially ones that have signed onto the FTA with the US) will follow the US' lead. If Apple try such a stunt, Cisco will get mean.

Don't forget that every packet you receive on the internet will have passed through dozens of Cisco boxes to reach you. How would you feel if Cisco started making their routers *not* support OSX protocols?

tempestas
11th January 2007, 12:56 PM
Lawyers will make money is the only certainty.Why wouldn't CISCO be prepared to make money from a trademark that it got from a company it bought a few years ago. The name is just that, calling it an iPhone is marketing simplicity for Apple but its not like they couldn't sell the device as the "phonePod" or "Apple Phone" or "pComm" or whatever else its marketing department could imagine.

tintinaujapon
11th January 2007, 01:00 PM
Reminds me of John Safran registering the name MacDonald's in Iraq.

macdonald
11th January 2007, 01:01 PM
Why don't they just rename it the "ApplePhone" like AppleTV and be done with it?

Amzy
11th January 2007, 01:04 PM
I gree with you....it kinda sounds cool as well

feeze
11th January 2007, 01:15 PM
Meh, they'll release the lawyers onto eachother, argue a lot and then years later settle it out of court.

Meanwhile Apple will sell a bucketload of iPhones, make an even bigger bucketload of money and then throw a few pennies Ciscos way.

That's big business.

the_OM
11th January 2007, 01:21 PM
Apparently cisco set a deadline on Tuesday night for Apple to agree to their terms. Apple failed to do so, launched the product and cisco filed suit.

Seriously guys, Apple is completely in the wrong here. They were in discussions, nothing was signed by the deadline set by Cisco, cisco has owned the trademark since 2000 and launched a product with the name a few weeks ago. Apple doesn't have a leg to stand on unless they come to terms with cisco.

They may as well agree to their demands or change the name.

Macworld has some comprehensive details on it: http://www.macworld.com/news/2007/01/10/iphonesuit/index.php

downsys
11th January 2007, 01:56 PM
Forget the name 'iPhone'. Everything's got an 'i' nowadays that it sucks. Make like the Macbooks, Mac Pro. So maybe, the MacPhone :p

Johnny Appleseed
11th January 2007, 02:35 PM
I actually hope this forces a name change. iPhone doesn't do it justice.

themacuser
11th January 2007, 02:36 PM
How would you feel if Cisco started making their routers *not* support OSX protocols?

Quite annoyed, but OS X uses TCP/IP just like the rest of the net, and it would be a HUGE load on the router to have to filter out said packets - resulting in bigger hardware required in the routers, which would make their routers a lot more expensive (than they already are)...

Oh, and then Apple change the protocol in a software update, or just encrypts it, and publicly say what Cisco are doing. Huge backlash forms...

smilne360
11th January 2007, 03:02 PM
it would appear the law is on apple's side. cisco barely have a leg to stand on, as they were allready going to sell the trademark to apple....

Rasta
11th January 2007, 03:20 PM
it would appear the law is on apple's side. cisco barely have a leg to stand on, as they were allready going to sell the trademark to apple....

So?

If I was going to buy a house, but hadn't signed the contracts and the vendor sold it to someone else, can I claim that I had some ownership rights of the house because I had intended to buy it (even though I hadn't put offers down or signed anything)?

If no side had agreed to anything without specific conditions being met, and those conditions hadn't been met to result in both sides signing a legal contract, then what was intended and what was going to happen would surely have no bearing on legally what would happen?

markh
11th January 2007, 03:20 PM
it would appear the law is on apple's side. cisco barely have a leg to stand on, as they were allready going to sell the trademark to apple....

I very much doubt that. CISCO bought the company which owned the iPhone trademark since 1996 back in 2000. But were all just guessing as to this. Courts will be the decider,

hawker
11th January 2007, 03:24 PM
Apple buys CISCO out and breaks them up. Done it before - will do it again!

smilne360
11th January 2007, 03:26 PM
i was just regurgetating the what my lawyer friend in the us told me.....

jeremy_warnock
11th January 2007, 03:26 PM
Apple could relese the phone under a different name once its ready for production - iphone does not really some up what the phone can do anyway

Rasta
11th January 2007, 03:28 PM
i was just regurgetating the what my lawyer friend in the us told me.....

Fair enough... any lawyers here who could shed any light on the legalities?

thebag
11th January 2007, 03:33 PM
Fair enough... any lawyers here who could shed any light on the legalities?

Wouldn't you need someone who is familiar with US legalese?

markh
11th January 2007, 03:34 PM
Apple buys CISCO out and breaks them up. Done it before - will do it again!

Hate to break it too you, but Apple doesn't have enough capital or assets to this. CISCO is much larger than Apple

Rasta
11th January 2007, 03:35 PM
Wouldn't you need someone who is familiar with US legalese?

Ideally, but surely some basic principles must traverse both US and Australian law which could be commented on...

hawker
11th January 2007, 03:48 PM
Hate to break it too you, but Apple doesn't have enough capital or assets to this. CISCO is much larger than Apple

People on this forum really have a hard time with sarcasm. In any case, a consortium of say Apple and their new phone partners may take them out? You never know. Never say never

iSlave
11th January 2007, 04:00 PM
Apparently Apple has filed suit over McDonalds use of the word 'Mac'. What next? Ronald McDonald in blue jeans and a black skivvy?

hawker
11th January 2007, 04:13 PM
I think the bigger question here is 'was Cisco's use of the name iPhone premeditated'? I mean it was a given that Apple could bring out a phone, and even bigger given that it was most likely to be called iPhone.

Personally I think Apple could have defused the situation at the launch time saying 'the current name is iPhone, but it might have to change blah blah'...

the_OM
11th January 2007, 04:41 PM
Basically, Apple is fucked either way.

They can agree to Cisco's terms, which would most certainly be a cut of the revenues or a sizeable up front payment. Or, change the name.

Either way, they go to court, they'll lose for sure. Especially considering that they entered into the negotiations prior to the launch with Cisco, that just looks bad because obviously they thought they would be initally infringing on cisco's trademark but now they don't?

3dward_Shaddow
11th January 2007, 05:15 PM
This could be the beginning of Apple moving away from the 'i[product]', we had the pre-production 'iTV' renamed [Apple]TV, as already mentioned a suitable name could be [Apple]Phone, then the new [Apple]Pod. Leaving the 'i[product]' for the computers?

It will be the 'Prince' symbol naming period for Apple Inc. :p

Plus every Tom, Dick and Harry have used 'i' in their naming, let's see if any can get away with using the Apple symbol!

mini_Matt
11th January 2007, 06:18 PM
Sounds like CISCO might have waved it front of Apple and said "You can have the name we don't want it, but it comes at a cost". Apple refused and knowing that Apple would release it anyway CISCO used it before Apple managed to announce the product. Little case of black mail?

If it's not true it still makes a good story. I'm not saying it's stupid to protect what you have trademarked but in general it seems like people sue for stupid things now, maybe there are too many lawers?;)

Matt :thumbup:

morn
11th January 2007, 07:30 PM
Apple spokesman Steve Dowling called the Cisco lawsuit "silly," adding there are several companies using the term iPhone for VOIP products, and Cisco's trademark is "tenuous at best." "We're the first company to ever use the iPhone name for a cellphone," he said. "If Cisco wants to challenge us on it, we're very confident we'll prevail."
http://www.boingboing.net/2007/01/10/cisco_vs_apple_lawsu.html

entropy
11th January 2007, 07:43 PM
I think apple may be technically in trouble here, as cisco does have the trademark, and has just released an iphone viop phone.

Mind you, when it gets referred to in the press as a 'rather lacklustre internet only phone', it can't be good publicity for cisco.

Rasta
11th January 2007, 08:00 PM
Mind you, when it gets referred to in the press as a 'rather lacklustre internet only phone', it can't be good publicity for cisco.

Isn't any publicity good publicity? :)

tempestas
11th January 2007, 09:54 PM
The real thing is what is the name worth?

Obviously it may be worth more to Apple than to Cisco and Cisco know they, launching their VOIP Linksys "iPhone" was a way of demonstrating to Apple and the legal fraternity that they saw some value in the trademark.

Apple were in negotiations with Cisco, nothing has been signed, Apple launch a product you can't buy but is called a iPhone, Cisco issues a writ. Everyone can now catch a breath and wait.

If Cisco think the trademark is worth heaps to them then they can argue to keep it, Apple could argue that their Trademark for a very recently available product pollutes their "iProduct" branding and point out they own "iPhone" in other jurisdictions.

Obviously its worth quite a bit of something to Apple to be able to use "iPhone" in the US, but is it worth more to Cisco to be able to sell its "iPhone" in other markets. When Apple registered the trademark there was no "iPhone" product from Cisco so from a corporate point of view, they might win in the US but not in other Jurisdictions.

So, this is probably more about lawyers justifying their fees and less about anything real. Cisco can be sticks in the mud and at best get some small damages in the US, Apple can then come up with a new name and vigourously defend the iPhone trademark in other jurisdictions costing Cisco money in those markets.

Who wins?

The lawyers.

Kuma
11th January 2007, 10:01 PM
The interesting thing here is that from brand awareness point of view.. the iPhone has been an apple product since god knows when...

sure apple never confirmed it or anything but if you ask people in the street who/what makes/is the iPhone people who give a "correct" answer are all going to say Apple and mobile phone...

almost to the person noboby is going to say cisco wireless phone... used for internet telephony.

Cisco may win... they will settle for loads of cash and the world win spin 360 degrees in the next 24 hours.....

bushfire
12th January 2007, 01:45 AM
just like most things these days, edpecially in the tech based industries. The companies rush a product to the market before it even works or appears to work. Corporate greed at its ugliest. Apple/Microsft Inc/
Same sh!t same bucket.

Tiger
12th January 2007, 11:29 AM
So?

If I was going to buy a house, but hadn't signed the contracts and the vendor sold it to someone else, can I claim that I had some ownership rights of the house because I had intended to buy it (even though I hadn't put offers down or signed anything)?

If no side had agreed to anything without specific conditions being met, and those conditions hadn't been met to result in both sides signing a legal contract, then what was intended and what was going to happen would surely have no bearing on legally what would happen?

Spot on!

Contract law 101!

floyd
12th January 2007, 12:15 PM
For a contract to exist you need an offer and an unconditional acceptance.
This does not seem to have happened so no contract exists. If apple says we like most of the offer from cisco except a and b etc. then this becomes a counter offer from apple and again cisco must accept it unconditionally.

In this case it does not seem like this has happened. Unless of course some sort of verbal contract was agreed upon and the paperwork just needed to be finalised. In this case apple may be able to sue for damages for the cost of advertising iphone etc. after acting on the belief a contract existed.

On the matter of patents, who knows. Maybe apple will suceed because the two products are in different market segments??

cgollner
13th January 2007, 08:31 AM
I'd like to see Apple change the name ApplePhone, MacPhone, iPod Mobile, iPodCell, something which gives Cisco no grounds to sue, then screw over Cisco with the iPhone name in the countries that Apple has the trademark.
Some countries, like US and Philippines require you to actively use the mark in order to defend it. The IP owner is required to file an Affidavit of Use every x years (depending on country) outlining how it is being actively used. My guess is that Cisco had an educated guess that an "iPhone" was coming and needed a product active in the market. If not, Apple could have taken Cisco to court and filed for the non-use of the mark, which Cisco would not have been able to defend (no active product) and Apple would have won out.


Chris

tempestas
13th January 2007, 01:33 PM
This article continues the point.

http://blogs.zdnet.com/Burnette/?p=236http://blogs.zdnet.com/Burnette/?p=236

Maybe its going to be lawyers at 10 paces...

MactrixAUS
13th January 2007, 02:40 PM
Doubt this will escalate. Apple have contracts with too many people, Yahoo and Cingular for example. I don't think Cisco Systems will be pushing too hard, since they are involved with these company's too. I would say it's a grab for money and the solution would be for Steve to pay up.

Graham
13th January 2007, 07:01 PM
I'm sure I saw somewhere that Cisco has just released a product which is very like the AppleTV so perhaps that's what they were referring to with the 'we want Apple to be open' comment. The use of the name 'iPhone' could be conditional on Apple providing that 'openess' - possibly meaning a Fairplay license.

Tiger
13th January 2007, 07:08 PM
I'd like to see Apple change the name ApplePhone, MacPhone, iPod Mobile, iPodCell, something which gives Cisco no grounds to sue, then screw over Cisco with the iPhone name in the countries that Apple has the trademark.
Some countries, like US and Philippines require you to actively use the mark in order to defend it. The IP owner is required to file an Affidavit of Use every x years (depending on country) outlining how it is being actively used. My guess is that Cisco had an educated guess that an "iPhone" was coming and needed a product active in the market. If not, Apple could have taken Cisco to court and filed for the non-use of the mark, which Cisco would not have been able to defend (no active product) and Apple would have won out.


Chris

Assuming the name got changed to ApplePhone or whatever tomorrow, Cisco still has standing to proceed against appl. Apple have actively used the iPhone name therefore standing - it doesn't matter if Apples good conscious kicks in and change the name.

To illustrate if Cisco or Microsoft released a product tomorrow called the iPod and then swap the name just minutes later, the damage is done - well generally thats how the likes of the Trade Practices Act provisions on misleading and deceptive conduct work.

Cheers!

cgollner
13th January 2007, 07:26 PM
If you look at the USPTO (US Patent Trademark Office) there are 4 entries listed under iPhone, only one of which closely matches the Apple iPhone which is owned by Ocean Telecom Services LLC. OTS also filed in Australia. They are likely a unofficial division of Apple used for filing patents and marks without tipping there hat to competitors. It'll come down to who has priority (ie who filed first in whatever country, can be any basically), whether at any and stage a mark was abandoned/let lapse, and if necessary can prove use of the mark. IP is a complicated web of laws.

Apple certainly has the clout to take on Cisco, whether they will or not is yet to be seen.

Chris

tintinaujapon
13th January 2007, 08:07 PM
A Cisco head offers his take on the dispute here (http://blogs.cisco.com/news/2007/01/update_on_ciscos_iphone_tradem.html).

I tend to agree with one reader's comment on the blog post.


In short, this is not about "openness" and "transparency" -- it's about promoting your company's products by plugging into Apple's innovation and "buzz".

Again, I have no problem with Cisco calling Apple out on its power play. You have the right to protect your property. But please don't patronize us by trying to sell it as a noble blow for "openness".

Based on your statement, it seems clear to me that you were simply trying to use the naming dispute as a means of getting a piece of the iPhone action.

tintinaujapon
14th January 2007, 09:17 PM
Now it appears that Cisco's rights to the iPhone name may have lapsed last year through lack of use.

Once again, to slashdot (http://apple.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/01/13/140254).