Cisco lost rights to iPhone trademark last year? | iLounge News

Cisco lost rights to iPhone trademark last year?

According to trademark law experts, Cisco may not be the owner of the iPhone name as it claims in the lawsuit filed this week against Apple. The iPhone trademark, owned by Cisco since 2000, was apparently abandoned in late 2005/early 2006 because the company was not actively selling a product under the iPhone name.

Cisco filed a Declaration of Use with the US Patent and Trademark office days before the trademark’s expiration in May 2006, following a six month grace period, but only provided a photo of one of its previously existing products—the Linksys CIT200 Cordless Internet Telephony Kit—with an “iPhone” sticker affixed over the product’s name.

“If Cisco didn’t launch a product using the iPhone name, their trademark registration would be canceled and they would have no bargaining chips with Apple,” says attorney Jay Behmke. “So in order to keep the trademark active, they had to file the Declaration of Use, and start selling a product under that trademark.”

“It is possible that the Declaration of Use is defective, as there was no continuous use, and the sample that Cisco submitted was for a product not released until 7 months later,” Behmke says. “The fact that the Declaration of Use was submitted only days before the deadline expires gives me the impression that they were scrambling to get a product to market, and had to file the Declaration before the product was ready.”

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This goes a long way towards explaining Apple’s actions this week.  No wonder they officially called Cisco’s lawsuit “silly” and didn’t sign the contract.

Posted by V-Train on January 12, 2007 at 10:48 PM (CST)


Never doubt that Steve Jobs knows exactly what he’s doing.  This embarrassing blunder by Cisco is just more evidence of that.

Posted by lancetx on January 13, 2007 at 12:19 AM (CST)


Even if, after months of free publicity, Apple eventually says “OK we’ll just call it the Apple Phone then”, they will still own the iPhone name in the eyes of the public.  Everyone will still call it the iPhone, just like Apple TV will keep being called iTV.  Apple is in a no-lose situation here.

Posted by haziesboy on January 13, 2007 at 12:31 AM (CST)


Hmmm…looks like Cisco’s trademark people—supposedly overseeing all of this—are perhaps NOT the sharpest tools in the shed, both here in the U.S. and over in Europe, where a parallel fight over the rights to ‘iPhone’ is going on.

This should prove interesting…

Posted by flatline response on January 13, 2007 at 2:55 AM (CST)


Wow. It makes a lot more sense now that Apple would go ahead with the name.

Posted by ddsd on January 13, 2007 at 3:55 AM (CST)


I believe that everyone will be sorely disappointed learning that at the Macworld Keynote Jobs’ unveiling of the iPhone was only as ruse. The real communicator is called the Apple iCan that consists of two cans with a string affixed between the two; conference calls can be achieved with three cans or more, and the applicable strings attached. Gesturing is through the use of the middle finger.

Cisco claims patent of the use of the middle finger gesture, but Jobs proved them incorrect by using the gesture first, and refuses to cease using said gesture.

Posted by FahrenheiPod 451 on January 13, 2007 at 12:55 PM (CST)


This is trademark doubt. The term iphone can be found in publicly available materials as far back as 1995…long before Apple even considered making anything but a PC.

Whether it is cell based or IP based makes no difference as it is still a PHONE. If you are unsure on the def. of phone, please refer to Websters Dictionary.

Hey….I wonder if Apple would condone me using the term IMac for my own brand of PC as long as it didn’t use TCP or IPX or any other protocol they use.

Pretty sleazy…not at all unlike something Microfoft would do.

Posted by Bill McKay on January 13, 2007 at 2:46 PM (CST)


The point seems to be that even if Cisco or any one else used “iPhone”, it doesn’t “stick” unless there is an actual product being sold. In this case, Cisco may have waited too long before actively using the name, and may have lost the right to it.

Posted by ip lover on January 13, 2007 at 3:36 PM (CST)


That lame Cisco iPhone would have been long forgotten if not for it’s chance to ripple some water for Apple.  Who really wants another WalMart clearance shelf Skype’ish phone. It looks like yard sale clutter, and should fade away soon like the Cisco stock price….....

Posted by Guano Man on January 16, 2007 at 8:22 PM (CST)

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