Cisco Systems to Sue Apple over iPhone Trademark

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Cisco Systems has announced plans to sue Apple, Inc. over the use of the name "iPhone"

Last year, Cisco’s Linksys division released a series of Voice-over-IP devices for which it used the brand family "iPhone." This company has owned a trademark on the name for years, since it acquired a company that registered it back in the 1990s.

It was widely expected that Apple would buy this trademark from Cisco, since it was required for its own iPhone, announced yesterday at the MacWorld Expo.

The two companies had been negotiating for some time over the possibility of Apple buying the "iPhone" name, according to the Associated Press. However Cisco has announced its intention to sue, seeking a court order to prevent Apple from using the trademark.

Mark Chandler, Cisco VP and general counsel, was quoted in his company’s release: "Cisco entered into negotiations with Apple in good faith after Apple repeatedly asked permission to use Cisco’s iPhone name. There is no doubt that Apple’s new phone is very exciting, but they should not be using our trademark without our permission."

It’s unclear as yet whether there was a breakdown in negotiations, or whether Cisco feels that its interests are better served by taking Apple to court, and thus possibly extracting under duress more favorable terms.

The full press release is available on Cisco’s web site.

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