Cisco Disconnects From iPhone Lawsuit

By David Needle

February 23, 2007

Apple and Cisco bury the hatchet over iPhone trademark.

Cisco has dropped its lawsuit over Apple's planned use of the iPhone trademark in its forthcoming handset. Wednesday night the two companies issued a joint statement that they had resolved the dispute.

The agreement leaves both firms free to use the iPhone trademark on their products throughout the world, according to the statement. Both Apple and Cisco said they acknowledge each other's trademark ownership rights and will dismiss any pending action over its use.

The day after Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the Wi-Fi/GSM-based dual-mode iPhone prototype at the Macworld Expo trade show in January, Cisco announced its lawsuit claiming ownership rights to the name. Cisco had obtained the trademark years earlier as part of its purchase of InfoGear, and uses it on several products. At the time, an Apple spokesman called the lawsuit "silly" noting several other companies also use the iPhone trademark. Apple also claimed its use of the iPhone name for a cell phone was unique. Cisco's iPhones are cordless phones that support VoIP (define).

For its part, Cisco had insisted it wasn't seeking money, but wanted to protect its trademark. The networking giant also said it was willing to share the trademark in exchange for interoperability between its products and Apple's new device. On that latter point, Cisco appears to have made headway.

The brief joint statement notes that Cisco and Apple will "explore opportunities for interoperability in the areas of security, and consumer and enterprise communications."

Other terms of the agreement are listed as confidential.



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