As you’ve been able to tell from the light blogging, I’ve been rather consumed with other issues, mostly work-related. As a result, I missed all the initial hoopla about the iPhone being introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The second I saw it I knew there was going to be trouble. And that’s because I’ve seen it before. Ladies & Gentlemen, I give you the iPhone, courtesy of Linksys, a division of Cisco Systems, Inc. And this was up on their web site since 18 December as I noticed when I was looking at the new line of Skype-compatible phones. Cisco moved very quickly in filing a lawsuit for trademark infringement against Apple.
Cisco® 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.
Well, this one’s gonna hurt. I can’t see how Apple can possibly defend against the infringement claim when the trademark was granted 10 years ago to another firm and they clearly knew that when they entered into negotiations with Cisco. As of this moment, Apple’s still got the iPhone stuff up on their web site but Cisco’s lawsuit might have come after their legal people all went home for the night.
I guess we wait and see, now.