Well, looks like Cisco has had a change of heart. They announced today that they have filed a lawsuit against Apple to prevent Apple from infringing upon and deliberately copying and using Cisco’s registered iPhone trademark.
From the press release:
“Cisco entered into negotiations with Apple in good faith after Apple repeatedly asked permission to use Cisco’s iPhone name,” said Mark Chandler, senior vice president and general counsel, Cisco. “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,” Chandler concluded.
With its lawsuit, Cisco is seeking injunctive relief to prevent Apple from copying Cisco’s iPhone trademark.
My guess…and this is just my guess…is that this is, and maybe always has been, a ploy by Cisco for some free publicity. They’ll be getting a ton of mileage out of this now that Apple’s iPhone has been announced, and has recieved so much attention.
There is no way that Apple went into this Keynote without feeling sure that they had come to terms with Cisco on this matter.
Frankly, I hope they just drop the iPhone name…I don’t think it’s that great anyway…but no matter what happens, if this isn’t settled (which I’m betting it will be after Cisco gets in the papers for a few days) there is going to be a lot of confusion on the part of the casual consumer.
I have had several non-techie friends come up to me today wanting to know more about the iPhone and how it works (I think I pitched the thing half a dozen times today), and those same people are going to be confused if the name of the device changes.
Either way, we’ll be covering this as much as possible.