Cisco and Apple get into a fight of the name 'iPhone'
Apple announced an iPhone at the CES this week, but there is one problem with the name they have chosen - they don't own the trademark.
iPhone is actually owned by Cisco, who are not at all happy that Apple have decided to trample all over Cisco's trademark rights and use the name without permission.
A synopsis of the scandal can be read here:
Of particular concern is this quoted section of the article cited above:
"Apple first asked Cisco in 2001 to acquire or license rights to the name. When Cisco declined, Apple embarked on a campaign of "confusion, mistake and deception" in its effort to secure the rights, the lawsuit claims.
Apple went so far as to create a phony company _ called Ocean Telecom Services LLC _ to get around Cisco's trademark, Cisco alleges.
In an application to the U.S. Patent and Trade Office in March, Ocean Telecom billed itself as a foreign company doing business in Trinidad and Tobago. The company listed its attorney as James Johnson. His contact information was an e-mail address from Google's free Web-based gmail service.
On Thursday, the Apple spokeswoman said the company would not discuss Ocean Telecom.
No one responded to an e-mail that The Associated Press sent to James Johnson's e-mail account."
As noted in the article, Cisco did not want Apple to pay money to use the name iPhone; rather, what they wanted was for the Cisco and Apple phones to be able to communicate, but it seems that Apple did not find this acceptable, so they have instead resorted to dirty tricks and simply ignoring Cisco's legal rights.
Cisco have issued proceedings to protect their rights:
There's an interesting snippet about behind the scene events at ZDNET:
Edit: Here's an update issued by Mark Chandler, Cisco's SVP and General Counsel
Update - it seems Apple haven't just stolen the name iPhone... they may have also done the dirty by using the name "Visual Voicemail" - the Register article notes that they could not locate a trademark for "Visual Voicemail". Surely Citrix were not so silly as to name their product but not register a trademark - heck, what am I saying, this is the company that left mail relaying enabled by default up till, I think, GroupWise 5. I'll never forget the first Novell based network I took over care of - the server was falling over every night, collapsing under the weight of the spam being sent through it.