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Linksys, not Apple, launches iPhone

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The iPhone was announced today—but not by Apple. In an apparent attempt to take advantage of the recent hype surrounding the “iPhone” name, Cisco’s Linksys division has introduced a new line of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones under the iPhone brand. The wireless phones are designed to work with online services such as Skype and Yahoo! Messenger. “The iPhone family of handheld devices harnesses the power of the Internet to enhance voice communications, integrate compelling information services, and deliver access to multimedia,” the company said. Everyone from consumers to industry analysts have referred to Apple’s long-rumored iPod-based cell phone as the “iPhone.” Cisco has owned the trademark on the iPhone brand since 2000 following the acquisition of Infogear.

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Comments

21

Check your Apple history.
When Steve Jobs came back to Apple in ‘97, he was hired on as the interim CEO, or iCEO as he jokingly called it.
Also, there was the trademarked name “I-Pod” for an internet kiosk Apple never released.
The combination of those two is said to have led to the naming of Apple’s first digital music player.

Posted by Mike on December 18, 2006 at 5:05 PM (CST)

22

i completely aggree w/Steve!

Posted by lawnboy on December 18, 2006 at 5:29 PM (CST)

23

How about these?

I,Robot

I,Claudius

I-roy:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I-Roy

Posted by superape on December 18, 2006 at 5:42 PM (CST)

24

Oh and linksys has been making phones for how long?  iM willing to bet all these people who have such negative things to say about this are “PC” iPod users. iDiots! No matter what, Linksys is DEFINITLY without a doubt in my mind trying to profit off of this name. ITS THAT SIMPLE PEOPLE…

Posted by Mike on December 18, 2006 at 5:42 PM (CST)

25

Well, I doubt that Apple will want to battle too much with Cisco as Cisco is no slouch in the legal department, and Cisco, in general, is a very savvy, staid, and staunch corporation who will have no problem pulling-out its big guns should Apple volley a round at them. Apple is best allying with Cisco versus fighting with them.

Posted by FahrenheiPod 451 on December 18, 2006 at 5:46 PM (CST)

26

There was always “I dunno”.  I remember saying that before the iPod.

Posted by Code Monkey on December 18, 2006 at 9:28 PM (CST)

27

Earlier than iMac?

How about iPOD.

A Michigan company in the office furniture business applied for a trademark on the name ‘iPOD’ back in 1991, well before iMac.

Posted by flatline response on December 18, 2006 at 9:33 PM (CST)

28

iPhone was registered in 1996 by a company who was bought by Cisco and Cisco owns Linksys.

2 years later (1998) Apple copied the idea and created the iMac.

Then in 2006 fanboys go mad because they dont understand who copied who.

PS - Apple could get sued if they use the term iFone because it’s too close to iPhone.

Posted by jabbathehut on December 18, 2006 at 9:56 PM (CST)

29

i’m tired of the i.  its becoming outdated.  hopefully apple comes up with another name thats more original…

i’m pleasently suprised of all the companines to steal apples’ thunder (mostly caused by analysts and journalists) it was cisco.  what have they been up to in the consumer market anyways?  too bad sony wasn’t like this.  They might actually get some sales.

Posted by dp on December 18, 2006 at 10:35 PM (CST)

30

Flatline Response—A link to a source would be appreciated, but I’m sure the “iPOD” you cite is only related by coincidence. (Like connecting the Lincoln assassination to the Kennedy assassination.)

JabbaTheHut—Yes, the term “iPhone” was trademarked before the term “iPod.” However, it’s worth noting that Linksys did nothing with the trademark for 10 years ... so it’s hard to claim that Apple copied an unused trademark.

I’m not saying that Apple is great and everyone else sucks. I’m just proposing that it was Apple that introduced iWords and iThings to the world. Thomas Edison may not have invented the first lightbulb either, but he was certainly the one who introduced it to the world.

Like it or not, iWords and iThings are associated with Apple, regardless of their etymology. Linksys knew they would gain some extra hype by calling their product the “iPhone,” piggybacking on the hype over a potential iPod-style phone from Apple.

I’m sure Apple will come up with a fine name for a phone, if they release one. I hated the name “iPod Nano” when it was announced, but I have grown to love it.

Posted by BJ Nemeth on December 19, 2006 at 1:09 AM (CST)

31

Apple’s wsill probrably be called the “iPod cell phone” or “iPod phone”

Posted by Bob on December 19, 2006 at 1:12 AM (CST)

32

How about calling it the “iDontReallyCareAboutYourStupidPhoneAnyway” ?

Posted by Matt G on December 19, 2006 at 3:58 AM (CST)

33

How about call it ‘i-mobile’ or ‘i-cellfone’, or ‘mac-fone’. Those names should fit right in Apple’s product profile.

Posted by JC on December 19, 2006 at 6:16 AM (CST)

34

BJ: Doubts, eh? I’ve posted the ‘iPOD’ reference before.

Go to the US Patent Office website (http://www.uspo.gov) and click on the Trademark flydown and select ‘Search Trademark’. Select ‘New User Form Search (Basic)’. Type in ‘ipod’.

At the very bottom of the search results (it’s all in chronological order, with the oldest trademark filings at the bottom), you’ll find a link to Chrysalis Incorporated’s trademark filing for ‘iPOD’ in January 1991.

There used to be at least one other listing held by a company other than Apple that also had rights to various capitalizations of ‘ipod’ BEFORE Apple made their MP3 player (for some sort of computer kiosk concept), but I’m guessing the legal boys over at Cupertino tossed enough cash their way to make them go away.

Posted by flatline response on December 19, 2006 at 1:38 PM (CST)

35

Oops…it’s actually http://www.uspto.gov

Posted by flatline response on December 19, 2006 at 1:40 PM (CST)

36

iTel

Posted by otsego on December 19, 2006 at 2:08 PM (CST)

37

or iPwn

Posted by otsego on December 19, 2006 at 2:12 PM (CST)

38

Nah, won’t be called iCellphone or anything like that, as it will be an international product. They’re not called cellphones in the UK and other countries.

“iPod phone”, that’s my bet. They won’t release a mobile phone that can’t play music, and they won’t release a music-playing gadget that isn’t part of the iPod brand. Simple as that.

Posted by poglad on December 19, 2006 at 6:07 PM (CST)

39

Flatline Response—My original comment was confusing, and I’m sorry. What I was looking for was a link to the actual line of products by the Michigan furniture company. (I 100% believed you that they had trademarked the word before Apple; I was curious as to how they were *using* the trademark.)

That’s my fault for being unclear in my comment. If I were you, I would have interpreted it the same way you did.

I’m not suggesting that Apple *invented* the use of a lowercase “i” at the beginning of a proper noun. But I’m suggesting that before Apple announced the iMac, 99.99% of the public was unaware of iWords.

That’s why the media (and consumers) kept asking what the “i” stood for in “iMac.” It was only after the iMac was released that Steve Jobs was rechristened the “iCEO.” (Before that, he was just the interim CEO.)

I’m still curious how these earlier trademarked iWords were actually used before the iMac came along ... and it’s still obvious to me that Linksys is trying to piggyback on the iPod’s success by using the (legal) name “iPhone.”

Posted by BJ Nemeth on December 19, 2006 at 6:56 PM (CST)

40

BJ: That I can’t help you with. I’ve never looked REALLY seriously, but with the couple of times I’ve casually tried Googling for it I wasn’t able to find any evidence of any sort of iPOD-named furniture system.

But the trademark is still live at the Patent and Trademark office, so who knows…maybe such a product(s) still exists someplace.

Posted by flatline response on December 20, 2006 at 2:22 AM (CST)

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