Mark Chandler, Cisco SVP Blogs About Apple Inc. Lawsuit

Posted Jan 11, 2007

Mark Chandler, a Cisco Senior Vice President and General Counsel wrote a blog post yesterday about the lawsuit that Cisco is filing against Apple, Inc. in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.  The lawsuit is to prevent Apple from using the name iPhone.  Cisco was given the trademark in 2000 shortly after acquiring Infogear.  Infogear owned the trademark for iPhone since 1996 and then Linksys, a division of Cisco had been shipping iPhone products since last year.

“Cisco entered into negotiations with Apple in good faith after Apple repeatedly asked permission to use Cisco’s iPhone name,” stated Chandler in a press release. “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 had concluded in the press release.

However, Cisco was not looking to play hardball with Apple.  “For the last few weeks, we have been in serious discussions with Apple over how the two companies could work together and share the iPhone trademark. We genuinely believed that we were going to be able to reach an agreement and Appleâ??s communications with us suggested they supported that goal,” blogged Chandler.  And at this past MacWorld, when Apple announced that the name of the product would be iPhone before an agreement was made, Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) was shocked.

“How would Apple react if someone launched a product called iPod but claimed it was ok to use the name because it used a different video format? Would that be ok? We know the answer â?? Apple is a very aggressive enforcer of their trademark rights. And that needs to be a two-way street” concluded Chandler in his blog post.

[Source: News@Cisco Notes]