Steve Jobs to Cisco: “Like iCare”

This week Apple unveiled its long-awaited iPhone which, like all exciting new phones today, is a digital organizer, home entertainment center, game platform, camera, and close personal companion. It even makes phone calls. The name “iPhone” is a natural fit, joining iPod, iTunes, and iMac. It also belongs to Cisco, which, according to The Wall Street Journal today, registered the iPhone trademark in 2000. (The iPhone mark, Serial# 75076573, was actually registered on March 20, 1996 by Infogear Technology Corporation. Infogear assigned the mark to Cisco on June 5, 2000.) News articles about Apple’s iPhone release reported Cisco’s ownership of the mark and the fact that Cisco and Apple were negotiating terms for Apple’s use of the name. It is not a surprise, then, that Cisco countered iPhone’s debut by suing Apple for trademark infringement. I would love to have been a fly on the wall for Steve Jobs’ internal discussions about unveiling the phone with its rights to the mark unresolved. I wonder: how much is Apple willing to pay Cisco for exclusive rights to the name, and how much has Apple budgeted for legal fees?

One Reply to “Steve Jobs to Cisco: “Like iCare””

  1. mderita

    This case is rather interesting, as Cisco might have some trouble with ownership of the mark. Apparently the missed a deadline to file a declaration of use for the name. They filed an extension and were able to renew. I have seen that a declaration also requires an active use of the name, which Cisco didn’t really seem to have. Meanwhile, Ocean Telecom LLC got to be second in line for the name. It is thought that the company is an Apple front. Cisco’s SVP also said that they never wanted money, just a collaboration with Apple on the iPhone.

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