Well, that’s one lawsuit down: Cisco and Apple have not only agreed to share the “iPhone” trademark, but it also seems as if there’s even going to be a little cooperation between the two companies. Apple’s press statement is so terse that I can actually quote it in its entirety below:
SAN JOSE and CUPERTINO, California—February 21, 2007—Cisco and Apple® today announced that they have resolved their dispute involving the “iPhone” trademark. Under the agreement, both companies are free to use the “iPhone” trademark on their products throughout the world. Both companies acknowledge the trademark ownership rights that have been granted, and each side will dismiss any pending actions regarding the trademark. In addition, Cisco and Apple will explore opportunities for interoperability in the areas of security, and consumer and enterprise communications. Other terms of the agreement are confidential.
I’m just a coder who likes to schmooze (or a schmoozer who likes to code, take your pick), so I’m going to leave it to suitier minds than mind to think about any of the business implications of the deal. I suppose that there’s a business analogue to wrestling fans who would’ve loved to have seen an epic WWE-style corporate smackdown; these people will be sorely disappointed.
PC World’s Techlog had the same thought I did: What were Apple’s “Plan B” names for the phone in case Cisco was able to prevent them from using the iPhone name? My money would’ve been on “Apple Phone”, which as others have said, has a certain symmetry with another product name of theirs, Apple TV.
There still remains a possible trademark dispute in Canada, where Comwave, a telecom company, have been using the iPhone brand for its VOIP services. I’d like to see them come to an agreement with Apple like the one with Cisco, even if only so that I could use an iPhone to call someone on their iPhone connected to iPhone.