This release just arrived in my Inbox from Cisco. It was clear that Apple hadn't nailed down a deal with Cisco when Steve Jobs walked onto the stage at Mac World in San Francisco yesterday. But most people expected that he must have made some informal agreement with John Chambers that would be followed up with a formal contract. It seems not, and the name of the coolest new gadget of 2007 looks set to be decided by lawyers...

Cisco Sues Apple for Trademark Infringement
Suit Filed to Protect Cisco’s iPhone® Trademark
SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Cisco® (NASDAQ:CSCO) today announced that it has filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California against Apple, Inc., seeking to prevent Apple from infringing upon and deliberately copying and using Cisco’s registered iPhone trademark.

Cisco obtained the iPhone trademark in 2000 after completing the acquisition of Infogear, which previously owned the mark and sold iPhone products for several years. Infogear’s original filing for the trademark dates to March 20, 1996. Linksys, a division of Cisco, has been shipping a new family of iPhone products since early last year. On Dec. 18, Linksys expanded the iPhone® family with additional products.

“Cisco entered into negotiations with Apple in good faith after Apple repeatedly asked permission to use Cisco’s iPhone name,” said Mark Chandler, senior vice president and general counsel, Cisco. “There is no doubt that Apple’s new phone is very exciting, but they should not be using our trademark without our permission.

“Today’s iPhone is not tomorrow’s iPhone. The potential for convergence of the home phone, cell phone, work phone and PC is limitless, which is why it is so important for us to protect our brand,” Chandler concluded.

With its lawsuit, Cisco is seeking injunctive relief to prevent Apple from copying Cisco’s iPhone trademark. For more information on the Cisco iPhone product line, please visit

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