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Cisco Sues Apple Over IPhone  
User currently offlineBHMBAGLOCK From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 2698 posts, RR: 5
Posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 1848 times:

Apparently Apple jumped the gun a bit by announcing their new toy before they had the rights to use the name. If Cicso charges Apple for these rights like they do for maintenance on their gear then they'll make more money than Apple on the product.

Quote:
Cisco has owned the trademark on the name "iPhone" since 2000, when it acquired InfoGear Technology Corp., which originally registered the name.

And three weeks ago, Cisco's Linksys division put the trademark to use, releasing an Internet-enabled phone called "iPhone" that uses the increasingly popular Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP.

above quoted from http://www.breitbart.com/news/2007/01/10/D8MIN5CO0.html


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22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineDeltaGator From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 6341 posts, RR: 13
Reply 1, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 1837 times:

Quoting BHMBAGLOCK (Thread starter):
If Cicso charges Apple for these rights like they do for maintenance on their gear then they'll make more money than Apple on the product.

As someone who works with Cisco every single day I have to say you are spot on. SMARTnet contracts are amazing money makers.

I'm honestly amazed iPhone wasn't already used as a name before the Cisco product was released.



"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
User currently offlineBHMBAGLOCK From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 2698 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 1818 times:

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 1):
I'm honestly amazed iPhone wasn't already used as a name before the Cisco product was released.

They bought a company that's had the name for a number of years.

For another interesting take on Cicso pricing, try this http://www.slowe.com/2007/01/08/cisco-vs-hp-procurve/



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User currently offlineBHMBAGLOCK From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 2698 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 1754 times:

A little more info I saw yesterday. Apparently the hangup on a licensing deal with Cisco wasn't over money. Cisco was demanding a higher level of inter-operability with products from other companies than Apple was willing to go along with. Standards, we don't need no stinking standards!


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User currently offlineKaiGywer From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 12214 posts, RR: 35
Reply 4, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 1750 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

I read this a couple of days ago. It was mentioned in the other iPhone thread, but deep deep inside.


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User currently offlineD L X From United States of America, joined May 1999, 11208 posts, RR: 52
Reply 5, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1739 times:

Quoting BHMBAGLOCK (Reply 2):
They bought a company that's had the name for a number of years.

Doesn't matter. The name has to be in use, and has to be "famous." Unlike a patent or a copyright, you don't get to hold onto your rights in a trademark unless you actively use the trademark. That applies to registered trademarks too.

Even then, if the Apple iPhone is a different market from the Cisco iPhone, they both may legally be called iPhone. (Note I said *may*. I would need more information to be sure.)


EDIT: just did a little research (didn't take much) and Apple may have a much bigger problem. The Cisco product is actually called "Linksys iPhone" and is on sale. You can even buy it on Amazon, and of course, it looks like a small mobile phone - just like the Apple iPhone is.

So, in this case, for Apple to win, it's going to have to show that "iPhone" is a generic term. You can't keep a registration of a generic term as your trademark. And if you own a trademark and it becomes generic, say goodbye to your trademark. (Just ask Thermos, Escalator, and Band-Aid.)

If I recall correctly, Apple got burned by this very thing some time back with their own trademark. I think they tried to trademark everything with "i" in front of it - iPod, iMac, iBook, and a few others. Mark my words, they'll lose their iPod trademark in about 5 years.

[Edited 2007-01-12 16:08:54]


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User currently offlineDeltaGator From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 6341 posts, RR: 13
Reply 6, posted (7 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1669 times:

Quoting BHMBAGLOCK (Reply 2):
They bought a company that's had the name for a number of years.

I know. I think that product never saw the light of day other than through presentations on vaporware. Enough to make Cisco buy them and hold on to the name. Looks like they might have released the Linksys version just in time to give Apple a little heartburn.

Quoting BHMBAGLOCK (Reply 3):
Cisco was demanding a higher level of inter-operability with products from other companies than Apple was willing to go along with. Standards, we don't need no stinking standards!

Cisco is the pot calling the kettle black here. Standards? Bah! I only have to offer up IGRP, EIGRP, and Skinny (SCCP) as examples of their proprietary technology. Will it have any bearing on the lawsuit? Doubtful. But it is hypocritical.



"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21406 posts, RR: 54
Reply 7, posted (7 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1665 times:

The Apple site identifies their product as

so they probably don't have to fear a direct assault, whatever the outcome may ultimately be.

No doubt they would prefer everybody else to drop the name, but we'll have to see whether that will happen.


User currently offlineBHMBAGLOCK From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 2698 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (7 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 1655 times:

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 6):
Cisco is the pot calling the kettle black here. Standards? Bah! I only have to offer up IGRP, EIGRP, and Skinny (SCCP) as examples of their proprietary technology. Will it have any bearing on the lawsuit? Doubtful. But it is hypocritical.

I agree here, hypocrytical as hell. However, that's probably not even going to be a factor. They've had the rights to the name for quite a while, they're using the rights with a real product that's available now, and it's definitely in the same market as Apple. In the long run, I don't see how Apple can do anything but change the name or play ball with Cisco. btw, you forgot their bastard version of POE.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 7):
The Apple site identifies their product as

so they probably don't have to fear a direct assault, whatever the outcome may ultimately be.

No doubt they would prefer everybody else to drop the name, but we'll have to see whether that will happen.

Maybe I'm dense but I don't see anything abou thte logo to protect Apple. Please explain your reasoning as it's not apparent to me. If you think a different logo will protec them then you should think again. If that worked then everybody and his brother would be selling "iPods" with different logos from Apple.



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User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21406 posts, RR: 54
Reply 9, posted (7 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 1649 times:

Quoting BHMBAGLOCK (Reply 8):
Maybe I'm dense but I don't see anything abou thte logo to protect Apple. Please explain your reasoning as it's not apparent to me. If you think a different logo will protec them then you should think again. If that worked then everybody and his brother would be selling "iPods" with different logos from Apple.

It's not a very strong differentiation, but Cisco's branding isn't particularly strong either, apparently. We'll have to see how this plays out.

By the way: As far as I'm aware, Cisco's iPhone is an IP-only phone, with Apple's explicitly not being able to do that. One reason for that may be Cingular's demands, but another might very well be Apple's position vs. Cisco.

But that will probably change sometime down the road...


User currently offlineDeltaGator From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 6341 posts, RR: 13
Reply 10, posted (7 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 1634 times:

Quoting Klaus (Reply 9):
As far as I'm aware, Cisco's iPhone is an IP-only phone

It is. The Linksys stuff is strictly for the home user. The Wifi/Cellular phones have been on the drawing boards and in pilot use around Cisco since the late 90s when they bought JetCell but nothing has ever come of them. Clients keep wanting them and I keep having to explain they are vaporware.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 9):

It's not a very strong differentiation, but Cisco's branding isn't particularly strong either, apparently. We'll have to see how this plays out.

Here is the Cisco/Linksys branding. Not much different. I'm sure Apple will end up paying some licensing fee and we'll all quit worrying about these little things. If this thread isn't a NERD ALERT! I don't know what is.



"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21406 posts, RR: 54
Reply 11, posted (7 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 1612 times:

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 10):
It is. The Linksys stuff is strictly for the home user. The Wifi/Cellular phones have been on the drawing boards and in pilot use around Cisco since the late 90s when they bought JetCell but nothing has ever come of them. Clients keep wanting them and I keep having to explain they are vaporware.

If that is so, their claims to the brand should be pretty much immaterial. As far as I'm aware, "brand squatting" isn't really supported in the most relevant jurisdictions (US, EU).


User currently offlineJamincan From Canada, joined Aug 2006, 775 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (7 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1602 times:

Apparently Apple has a stronger case than you would expect considering the fact that the iPhone already exists. The reasoning being that the iPhone is already associated with Apple as an Apple product, and was before it even existed, and before the Linksys iPhone ever existed. In a sense, it's not all that different than aspirin in that regard, except that the trademark had already failed before Cisco ever released the product.

User currently offlineD L X From United States of America, joined May 1999, 11208 posts, RR: 52
Reply 13, posted (7 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 1592 times:

Quoting Klaus (Reply 9):
As far as I'm aware, Cisco's iPhone is an IP-only phone, with Apple's explicitly not being able to do that. One reason for that may be Cingular's demands, but another might very well be Apple's position vs. Cisco.

I doubt that will matter. They're both "phones". The fact that they have different features attached to both being phones is exactly why we have trademark protection laws.

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 10):
I'm sure Apple will end up paying some licensing fee and we'll all quit worrying about these little things.

I'm pretty sure Apple will end up not calling it iPhone.

Quoting Jamincan (Reply 12):
The reasoning being that the iPhone is already associated with Apple as an Apple product, and was before it even existed, and before the Linksys iPhone ever existed.

I don't understand you. The law is pretty clear here, you can't "hold on" to a trademark - the only way you are allowed to protect it is if you are actually using the mark with a real live product for sale. (The only exception is the ITU registration, which stands for "intent to use." You can register a name that you honestly intend to use, but then you must actually start using it within 6 months, I think.)



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User currently offlineBHMBAGLOCK From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 2698 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (7 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 1580 times:

Quoting Klaus (Reply 11):
If that is so, their claims to the brand should be pretty much immaterial. As far as I'm aware, "brand squatting" isn't really supported in the most relevant jurisdictions (US, EU).

It's not brand squatting. They are using it for a telecomm product at this time. If you're going to narrow the definition in the way you'd like then it would cause complete chaos. For example, let's say I'm going to start making a new type of cell phone next week. It will hinge open in the middle as several current models do, much like a book. I think I'll call it an "iBook". How long do you think it will be before I get a visit from one of the Apple IP attack dog lawyers?

Or maybe I've genetically engineered (yeah right, I'm hopeless with O chem) an indigo colored McIntosh apple. I'm going to market it in the grocery stores as an "iMac". Not even remotely the same marketplace but I'm certain that Apple would come after me and rightly so.



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User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21406 posts, RR: 54
Reply 15, posted (7 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 1580 times:

Quoting D L X (Reply 13):
I doubt that will matter. They're both "phones". The fact that they have different features attached to both being phones is exactly why we have trademark protection laws.

The Cisco product can only be used as an IP phone and not as a mobile phone, the Apple phone is exactly the opposite - they do not compete at all. Being "both phones" is not necessarily relevant when their markets are completely disjunct (at this time, at least).

Quoting D L X (Reply 13):
You can register a name that you honestly intend to use, but then you must actually start using it within 6 months, I think.)

Which Cisco apparently didn't, for an extended period; They also failed to defend the name against other market players if I'm correctly informed.

They may not have that much of a compelling case.


User currently offlineQueso From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (7 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 1561 times:

Quoting BHMBAGLOCK (Thread starter):
Cisco Sues Apple Over IPhone

They're dumbasses if they sued them over Iphone, they won't get anything. Usually they sue each other in person in Icourt.  Big grin


User currently offlineD L X From United States of America, joined May 1999, 11208 posts, RR: 52
Reply 17, posted (7 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 1553 times:

Quoting BHMBAGLOCK (Reply 14):
For example, let's say I'm going to start making a new type of cell phone next week. It will hinge open in the middle as several current models do, much like a book. I think I'll call it an "iBook". How long do you think it will be before I get a visit from one of the Apple IP attack dog lawyers?

Probably. The market for your hypothetical phone includes much of the same people that know about or would be interested in buying the Apple iBook.

Quoting BHMBAGLOCK (Reply 14):
an indigo colored McIntosh apple. I'm going to market it in the grocery stores as an "iMac". Not even remotely the same marketplace but I'm certain that Apple would come after me and rightly so.

I strongly doubt it. As you correctly noted, these are different markets. You only get trademark protection for the market you are using the name in.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 15):
Being "both phones" is not necessarily relevant when their markets are completely disjunct (at this time, at least).

No, being both phones is the exact most relevant issue in this case. Their markets are completely congruent, in that those that are interested in the Linksys are the same people being targetted for Apple. The fact that they are different products in their details is actually not material. For instance, Let's say you own a car company, and you produce a car called the Ford Mustang. I own a tire company, and I build a tire that is meant for a Minivan, and I call it "DLX Mustang Tires". Clearly the products are entirely different, but the market overlap (things dealing with cars) is more than enough for a trademark violation.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 15):
Which Cisco apparently didn't, for an extended period;

I think that even if that's true, it's no longer of consequence. There are currently 3 records in the Patent and Trademark Office's database of registered trademarks showing the term "iPhone" covering:
  • Telephone that integrates a display and interactive abilities with an IP-based network to deliver both voice communication and graphic-based content and services to hotel guestrooms
  • handheld and mobile digital electronic devices for the sending and receiving of telephone calls, faxes, electronic mail, and other digital data;
  • computer hardware and software for providing integrated telephone communication with computerized global information networks.

    That second one especially basically means that the only way Apple can win is if they can show that the term "iPhone" is generic, and thus the trademark is invalid.



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    User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21406 posts, RR: 54
    Reply 18, posted (7 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 1533 times:

    Quoting D L X (Reply 17):
    No, being both phones is the exact most relevant issue in this case. Their markets are completely congruent, in that those that are interested in the Linksys are the same people being targetted for Apple.

    No, certainly not. Nobody is in the market for either a Cisco or an Apple iPhone - they have exactly zero overlap. You simply can't use the one where you can use the other.

    Quoting D L X (Reply 17):
    I think that even if that's true, it's no longer of consequence. There are currently 3 records in the Patent and Trademark Office's database of registered trademarks showing the term "iPhone" covering:

    Cisco has apparently let the brand name lapse in Europe by not providing adequate defense when it was challenged. Whatever may happen in the US, without having Europe (which Apple will), their position is severely weakened, even if their US claims should hold water.

    They can't hope for more than a low- to medium-scale settlement if this turns out to be correct.


    User currently offlineBHMBAGLOCK From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 2698 posts, RR: 5
    Reply 19, posted (7 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 1523 times:

    Quoting Klaus (Reply 18):
    Cisco has apparently let the brand name lapse in Europe by not providing adequate defense when it was challenged. Whatever may happen in the US, without having Europe (which Apple will), their position is severely weakened, even if their US claims should hold water.

    Could you point us to a source for this?



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    User currently offlineD L X From United States of America, joined May 1999, 11208 posts, RR: 52
    Reply 20, posted (7 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 1521 times:

    Quoting Klaus (Reply 18):
    No, certainly not. Nobody is in the market for either a Cisco or an Apple iPhone - they have exactly zero overlap. You simply can't use the one where you can use the other.

    You're not defining "market" correctly. That's like saying that both Mercedes and Citroen could name their cars the same thing without infringing the other. A market is not the group of people looking for a product with X features. It's much much broader, and refers more to what people who are looking for X feature would know to exist in other related products. "Mustang Tires" for minivans infringes on "Ford Mustang."

    Quoting Klaus (Reply 18):
    Cisco has apparently let the brand name lapse in Europe by not providing adequate defense when it was challenged.

    That will have no bearing on a law suit in the US. Trademark law is not international law - the case in the US will be all about the Lanham Act, which very clearly states that trademark actions outside the US are irrelevant.

    A good example happened in the Detroit area, which borders Windsor, Ontario. A famous pizza place in Windsor had its name copied by a person in Detroit. People in Detroit knew about the place in Windsor, and thought the new place was the same. The folks in Windsor couldn't do anything about it though in US courts.



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    User currently offlineBHMBAGLOCK From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 2698 posts, RR: 5
    Reply 21, posted (7 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 1502 times:

    Now for some humor. Read about a poor guy who couldn't get a trademark for a product named "Explorer" because the letter "x" was deemed to be a cross and therefore anti-islamic. This was in Saudi Arabia and I don't know how the poor guy kept his sense of humor but his short article about this experience is actually very funny.

    http://www.arabnews.com/?page=7§...on=0&article=34490&d=2&m=11&y=2003



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    User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21406 posts, RR: 54
    Reply 22, posted (7 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 1495 times:

    Quoting BHMBAGLOCK (Reply 19):
    Could you point us to a source for this?

    This should be the article:
    Cisco on brink of losing iPhone name in Europe | Reg Hardware

    Quoting D L X (Reply 20):
    You're not defining "market" correctly. That's like saying that both Mercedes and Citroen could name their cars the same thing without infringing the other.

    No. The Cisco iPhone is a golf cart which can't run on a public road; The Apple iPhone is a car which can't run on a golf course.

    Better now?

    Quoting D L X (Reply 20):
    That will have no bearing on a law suit in the US.

    Apple is quite experienced in global IP protection tactics and strategies... Cisco doesn't have much of a leg to stand on for a serious product if all they've got is a right to a name that's only viable(?) in the USA within a global market.


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