Cisco Sues Apple for Use of iPhone Name

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On Tuesday, Apple unveiled its plans for the iPhone, which is to be distributed starting in June. On Wednesday, Cisco filed suit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, seeking an injunction to prevent Apple from using the name. If successful, Apple could be forced to drop the name iPhone from its product.

Cisco says the company has owned the trademark on “iPhone” since 2000 when it acquired InfoGear Technology Corp., the original owner of the trademark. The company says its Linksys unit uses the iPhone name on a family of phones which uses voice over Internet protocol (VOIP).

Apple says that several companies, including Cisco, use the term “iPhone” for VOIP products. Apple says they’re the first company to use the name iPhone for a cellular phone, and they’re confident they’ll win.

Reportedly, Apple approached Cisco several times about using the name iPhone. The companies did negotiate over the last several weeks, and it appeared that an agremeent was going to be reached. But the deal was never finalized.