Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Courts Businesses Government Hardware Apple News

iPhone Lawsuit Put On Hold For The Moment 72

Posted by Zonk
from the show's-over-folks-go-on-home dept.
SoulReaverDan writes "The recent lawsuit between Cisco and Apple on the iPhone trademark has taken an interesting turn. Cisco and Apple have agreed to a temporary truce, to allow Apple time to respond to the lawsuit (and, one assumes, avoid more legal fees). The article goes on to mention Apple's claim that several companies are using the iPhone name, which dovetails nicely with a great blog entry over on ZDNet. Alan Graham lays out a search of various websites, showing that not only is Cisco not the only one using the iPhone name, they're trying to use it just a little too hard. The image of the CIT300 (note this is NOT the CIT400 that Cisco is suing Apple for at all) on Amazon has the iPhone logo, but it lacks the logo on the Linksys website or on CDW's website."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

iPhone Lawsuit Put On Hold For The Moment

Comments Filter:
  • The lot of them
    • by slcdb (317433)
      Damn that's funny. Not that it should be. But for some reason *everything* is much more funny when it's in British English.

  • Oh. My. God. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Skadet (528657) on Friday February 02, 2007 @12:54PM (#17860724) Homepage
    Oh. My. God. Seriously, if I see one more damn iPhone story on here talking about the trademark issue, I'm going to buy an iPhone when it comes out, just so I can smash it to a million bits.

    Nobody cares. Let me know when there's something *meaningful* to report.
    • Re:Oh. My. God. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by esobofh (138133) <khg&telus,net> on Friday February 02, 2007 @01:06PM (#17860956)
      I dunno.. i'm a business analyst for a large telco that purchases millions of dollars in Cisco equipment. What does this tell me about Cisco when they are stooping so low as to photoshop an unused "trademark" into the picture as a last ditch effort to secure some lawsuit $$$?

      This is extremely relevent to /. and it's users.

      I'm sure this is not the first case of this either.
      • by Daemonstar (84116)
        It doesn't matter if they actually use the trademark or not; the trademark is federally registered [uspto.gov] (November 16, 1999), and that is proof, itself.

        A. FEDERAL REGISTRATION. There are significant advantages to having a trademark properly registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

        Registration is proof of the validity of the mark and the registrant's ownership of the mark. 2. These legal presumptions simplify the evidence needed in an enforcement action and may result in a considerable savings in

        • Re:Oh. My. God. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by defy god (822637) on Friday February 02, 2007 @01:51PM (#17861682)

          well, if you click on the second link provided, you'll see that it actually does matter if they use the trademark (within the 5 years of your own quote). they have to show continued use of said trademark during those 5 years. that's what the fuss is about photoshopping the logos in, trying to fake their use of it. if not, they have 6 months to file a type of ammendment stating they did use it (which Cisco has filed). funny thing about that filing, employees of Cisco signed under risk of perjury that the trademark was fully in use. if it is later found that it was not, then comes in the other part of your quote stating that it can "only be canceled on certain specified grounds".

          the photoshop work is trying to rewrite history. they are essentially rebranding their products to support their current claims on the trademark.

          • so what? (Score:3, Insightful)

            by oohshiny (998054)
            Yes, and Apple isn't using the trademark at all yet, since no iPhones are actually shipping.

            So, even if Cisco just starts using the trademark now, they are still months ahead of Apple.

            Of course, Apple knew that the iPhone trademark was claimed by Cisco since they were negotiating with them long before they released their iPhone. Looks to me like Apple is just trying to strong-arm the trademark away from Cisco by whatever means they can.

            • by dan828 (753380)

              Yes, and Apple isn't using the trademark at all yet, since no iPhones are actually shipping.


              Apple is currently advertising the iPhone, so they are using the trademark. http://www.apple.com/iphone/ [apple.com]
              • by oohshiny (998054)
                Apple is currently advertising the iPhone, so they are using the trademark. http://www.apple.com/iphone/ [apple.com]

                So has Cisco, and apparently before the Apple announcement.

                In any case, a trademark is "in use" only once a product has actually been sold under that name.
                • So has Cisco, and apparently before the Apple announcement.

                  Isn't the point to the article is that Cisco was apparently not using the name before the Apple announcement.
                  • by oohshiny (998054)
                    Isn't the point to the article is that Cisco was apparently not using the name before the Apple announcement.

                    My point is that even if that were true, it doesn't matter, since Apple still isn't using the trademark; all Apple has is an "announcement" and a non-existent product. Why should a company that is not shipping a product and that has never owned the trademark get priority over a company that is shipping a product and has, in fact, owned the trademark (even if they were to have lost it temporarily in
                    • by argent (18001)
                      My point is that even if that were true, it doesn't matter, since Apple still isn't using the trademark;

                      They are, in fact, using the trademark. Product announcements count, as do advertising materials on web pages. Backdated product announcements and photoshopped web pages only count from the date you post them, not the date insinuated into them by the chichanery in question.

                      You seem to assume that Apple owns this trademark by default

                      Not at all. I somply don't assume that Cisco owns the trademark by default
                    • by oohshiny (998054)
                      They are, in fact, using the trademark. Product announcements count, as do advertising materials on web pages. Backdated product announcements and photoshopped web pages only count from the date you post them, not the date insinuated into them by the chichanery in question.

                      Well, let's assume for the sake of argument that that were true. What's the timeline then?

                      Apple starts negotiations with Cisco over the iPhone trademark long before Apple's product announcement. Cisco refrains from using the trademark f
                    • by argent (18001)
                      Whichever way you look at it, Apple is the bad guys here.

                      I don't think this has anything to do with whether Apple or Cisco are "good guys" or "bad guys". They're corporations, they're pretty much mandated by SEC regulations to be chiselling conniving sons of bitched.

                      The point is that if this is Cisco's response it's really really stupid.
          • by Daemonstar (84116)
            Nevermind, I think I understand; I missed a section on the website [uspto.gov] about keeping the registration current. I think this is what you were referring to:

            For a trademark registration to remain valid, an Affidavit of Use ("Section 8 Affidavit") must be filed: (1) between the fifth and sixth year following registration, and (2) within the year before the end of every ten-year period after the date of registration. The registrant may file the affidavit within a grace period of six months after the end of the

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Nobody cares. Let me know when there's something *meaningful* to report.

      1) Don't waste your own time reading stories that you don't find interesting.
      2) Don't waste your own time commenting on same.
    • by vertinox (846076) on Friday February 02, 2007 @01:38PM (#17861470)
      I'm going to buy an iPhone when it comes out, just so I can smash it to a million bits.

      Which one?
  • happens when someone else down the road comes up with gear using the name as well, if not a phone what about accessories.

    I am curious what goes down then.
    • If Apple wins the actual rights to Cisco's trademark, then computer-based accessories won't be allowed to use the name. Here's what the trademark covers:

      "Goods and Services IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S: computer hardware and software for providing integrated telephone communication with computerized global information networks. FIRST USE: 19970606. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19970606"

      This is from USPTO Trademark Registration [uspto.gov] #2293011

      Browsing the TESS database there is always amusing. For e

  • by Scorchmon (305172) on Friday February 02, 2007 @01:01PM (#17860886)
    Just go ahead and change the name to the Apple Phone from The New AT&T formerly the iPhone from Cingular formerly the old AT&T.
    • Just go ahead and change the name to the Apple Phone from The New AT&T formerly the iPhone from Cingular formerly the old AT&T.
      I think the new AT&T is actually at&t now.
      • by Scorchmon (305172)
        I actually saw a commercial for Cingular which said they're now The New AT&T.
        • by dgatwood (11270)

          Yeah. Pretty amazing. When all is said and done, I will have changed my cell provider from AT&T Wireless to Cingular and back to AT&T Wireless without even trying. :-D

  • When did Billy Corgan [imdb.com] gain weight, change his name to Alan Graham and start writing a tech column?
    • by zaliph (939896)
      Particularly, a tech column that could have been condensed to one page rather than five. Furthermore, a "great blog entry" should be insightful, not commenting on screenshots regarding an overhyped and ultimately publicity-driven issue.
  • lawsuit. If they win and the courts decide that placing an i in front of phone is not trademarkable, then they run the risk of losing the ability to protect their own iPhone mark and trying to control the use of i-word marks in the electronics industry (much as McDonald's does with Mc in fast food). OTOH, if they work out a license agreement then that risk is gone.

    If they lose, then they need to rename the iPhone; with all the attendant costs.

    Seems to me that an agreement is less risky than a lawsuit.
    • Apple is a bit of a no win situation with the lawsuit. If they win and the courts decide that placing an i in front of phone is not trademarkable, then they run the risk of losing the ability to protect their own iPhone mark and trying to control the use of i-word marks in the electronics industry (much as McDonald's does with Mc in fast food). OTOH, if they work out a license agreement then that risk is gone.

      What Apple most likely will argue is that sharing the use of trademarks is allowable if the produ

    • I think the lawsuit is more about whether Cisco has a material interest in the iPhone name or not, rather than whether anyone can register the i(whatever) names.
    • no win situation

      Quite to the contrary. Apple knew that Cisco claimed the trademark, and they were in negotiations when they announced the iPhone. Not only is the lawsuit not a problem for them, it's giving them free publicity and they were counting on it.

      If they win and the courts decide that placing an i in front of phone is not trademarkable, then they run the risk of losing the ability to protect their own iPhone mark and trying to control the use of i-word marks in the electronics industry

      They don't h
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by argent (18001)
        I find Apple's behavior in regards to iPhone to be cynical, calculating, and arrogant.

        They're a corporation. Cynical, calculating, and arrogant is baked into their genes, lock, stock, and SEC regulations.

        On the other hand, Cisco didn't even bother putting an iPhone label on their product WHILE they were in negotiations with Apple. What do you call that?
        • by oohshiny (998054)
          They're a corporation. Cynical, calculating, and arrogant is baked into their genes, lock, stock, and SEC regulations.

          OK, so Apple doesn't "think different", they "think just like Microsoft" if not worse.

          On the other hand, Cisco didn't even bother putting an iPhone label on their product WHILE they were in negotiations with Apple. What do you call that?

          I'd call it reasonable and in good faith. After all, they had the trademark registered, they were talking about selling the trademark to Apple, why would th
          • by argent (18001)
            OK, so Apple doesn't "think different", they "think just like Microsoft" if not worse.

            <matrix>Welcome to the real world.</>

            I'd call it reasonable and in good faith. After all, they had the trademark registered, they were talking about selling the trademark to Apple, why would they start shipping a product under that name?

            And photoshopping their label on products they had previously been shipping without the label is "reasonable and in good faith"?
            • by oohshiny (998054)
              Welcome to the real world.

              Well, I live in the real world--I was making a point to the people who think Apple is the nice, touchy-feely, innovative runner up that's being crushed by evil Microsoft.

              And photoshopping their label on products they had previously been shipping without the label is "reasonable and in good faith"?

              Cisco was approached by Apple over the iPhone trademark long before Apple made their product announcement. If Cisco had wanted to strengthen their claims, they could simply have started s
              • by argent (18001)
                However, they negotiated in good faith and evidently got screwed by Apple. What happened after that was secondary.

                Responding to bad faith with attempted fraud still doesn't seem "reasonable".

                Actually, I think "stupid" is a better term. It won't strengthen their case, it will weaken it.
  • The only thing I can think of is its some kind of publicity strategy to get the Cisco phones some press.
    I never heard of the Cisco iphone until all of this started. I did hear of the Apple iPhone but wasn't aware of Cisco's iPhone.
    Cisco was obviously not marketing their phone under the name iPhone so why is the name so important?
    I can only guess its more cost effective for them to spend the money on a lawsuit as opposed to marketing.
    • If you had been shopping for VoIP phones, you would have definately heard of either Cisco or Linksys. Probably both (unless you do all your shopping at Staples, in which case, just Linksys).
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by BunnyClaws (753889)
        I've heard of a Cisco VoIP phone I have one sitting in front of me right now. I just never heard of a Cisco iPhone. For the record I do not do my shopping at Staples I go through Dunder-Mifflin for all of my office supply needs.
    • by oohshiny (998054)
      The only thing I can think of is its some kind of publicity strategy to get the Cisco phones some press.

      It was entirely Apple's choice to release their product under the name "iPhone", even though they knew that Cisco was claiming the trademark and had been in talks with Cisco about licensing. How can that be "a strategy to get the Cisco phones some press"?
    • iHave One (Score:4, Funny)

      by argent (18001) <peter.slashdot@2006@taronga@com> on Friday February 02, 2007 @03:41PM (#17863592) Homepage Journal
      I have a Cisco phone sitting right here.

      Says it right on the faceplate. Cisco IP Phone.

      Whoops. Too many letters. Nevermind. :)
  • Have we collectively gotten to the point where company branding is actually more important than the item in and of itself? I know that Coca Cola spends something like a billion dollars a year just to keep the name visible...but that's a company, not a product! How do we find ourselves in a society where product name is so important?

    Is this the corporate version of the minefield? As if to say, "Don't step on our toes, or we'll go off on you!" Is it necessary that the name of a product be sole ownershi

    • by billcopc (196330)
      Sadly that's how it has always worked. Bad press is good press, as long as people are talking about you or your product, in good or bad light, you're farther ahead than if they silently ignored you.

      Apple is a now household name, everyone including your grandmother knows what an iPod is, at least what it looks like, even down to the crappy little white earbuds that everyone else copied. Capitalizing on that popularity, now we have the iPhone which has the whole world abuzz. Cisco, on the other hand, is a
    • by Zenaku (821866)
      I know that Coca Cola spends something like a billion dollars a year just to keep the name visible...but that's a company, not a product!

      Coca Cola isn't a product? What the hell have I been drinking?
    • by argent (18001)
      Have we collectively gotten to the point where company branding is actually more important than the item in and of itself?

      Yep.

      How do we find ourselves in a society where product name is so important?

      That's a real Mickey Mouse question.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I thought Cisco already lost by not using the trademark for a 5 year period after purchasing NetGear (who did use the trademark). And isn't there a falsified affidavit - with a false claim of continuing use - submitted by a Cisco representative to the trademark office to extend that unused trademark? And did not Cisco submit a photograph of an already shipping product that did not go by the name iPhone to the trademark office as (false) proof of the trademark being used in commerce? Anyone else seen the p
  • *rimshot* (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Good call. I don't see what the hangup is anyway. Are they finally starting to get dialed in to their customers' needs?
  • Cisco iPhone name (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Intron (870560) on Friday February 02, 2007 @01:13PM (#17861062)
    "Cisco has owned the trademark for the name [iPhone] since 1996 - before Apple even started putting the letter "i" in front of its products - and thus has always had full rights to the name. As for why it took Cisco this long to make use of the name, the only possible explanations could be either it never reached an agreement for the sale of the trademark, or it chose to capitalize on the name now that it's the buzzword of the tech circles". [dailytech.com]

    So, Cisco is using iPhone because products starting with "i" are hot, because Apple is selling the iPod. But Cisco is suing Apple because Apple is selling an iPhone.

    Apple lawyers immediately trademarked the name "iRony".
    • "Apple lawyers immediately trademarked the name "iRony"."

      I take it they're Vanilla Ice fans?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      I think the Onion [theonion.com] said it best:

      "If they're not careful, [apple will] run into the same trouble with their upcoming computer model, the iBM."
      • by splict (1024037)
        I don't care how hip the "i" prefix is - there is nothing sexy about bowel movements!

        OTOH it is Apple...
    • by JPriest (547211)
      Or maybe because the technology in 1996 was not available to launch a WiFi/VoIP based Internet Phone??
  • apple: So, if we go to court, we might lose.
    Cisco: Right. But we might lose too and then get no money out of you.
    Okay, so if we pay you half the amount we would otherwise pay for our lawyers, then we both win.
    Only half? We think you can do better.
    Let's announce that the suit is on hold, and go negotiate.
    Sounds good, let's set it up for wednesday

    -GiH
    Just a law student.
  • So, Cisco is shipping a product under the iPhone name now. They've also had the trademark for a decade and have shipped products under than name previously. Apple knew that and they were negotiating with Cisco.

    What product exactly is Apple shipping under the iPhone name?
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Actually, Cisco was shipping a product under a name consistent with their entire product line. Then late in December of 2006, when it became clear there would be a big announcement from Apple at its Expo early the next month, Cisco decided to append a new name to its already-shipping product. Strangely, this new name did not match Cisco's product line naming conventions. Interestingly, Cisco's sudden use of this new name matched the product Apple announced less than a month later: the Apple iPhone. On d

Mr. Cole's Axiom: The sum of the intelligence on the planet is a constant; the population is growing.

Working...