Cisco Sues Apple Over 'iPhone' Name
January 11, 2007 at 1:00 PM (PT)
Less than 24 hours after APPLE's IPHONE public debut, APPLE has been sued by CISCO SYSTEMS over the name of the new device. CISCO filed suit in U.S. District Court in SAN FRANCISCO yesterday, claiming the name violates a trademark. CISCO and APPLE had been in negotiations to share the name, but never reached an agreement.
Trademark experts were surprised that APPLE went ahead and announced the new device as the "iPHONE," despite not having the rights to the name. "This is a gutsy move by APPLE," WILLIAM HELLER of MCCARTER & ENGLISH told BLOOMBERG. "I wouldn't handicap this race just yet. There are lots of arguments on both sides."
In the suit, CISCO claims that APPLE used a number of means to lay claim to the name, even filing as a fictitious company "Ocean Telecom Services LLC." CISCO has held the iPHONE trademark since 2000 and recently released an Internet phone using the name.
APPLE has defended its claim by noting that CISCO is not the only company out there using the name "iPHONE" in various ways and calling CISCO's hold on the trademark "tenuous at best."