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January 11, 2007

Cisco Sues Apple Over iPhone Mark

Apple’s announcement of the iPhone was clouded slightly by the almost immediate lawsuit filed by Cisco Technology as holder of the trademark “iPhone.”  Apple was aware of Cisco’s registration as news reports indicate that the two companies had been negotiating over the issue for quite some time.  Apple (now just Apple, Inc., having dropped the “Computer” part of the company name) says that the suit is silly.  The company points out that several companies are using iPhone in commerce.  That’s true enough.  There are even other registrations with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the iPhone mark, 9 all together, with 4 live and 5 dead.  The Cisco registration number is 75076573. 

The Apple phone is getting great reviews as a cool must-have item.  The phone stands apart aside from its doubling as an iPod.  The fact that all features are controlled by a touch screen rather than buttons is a revolutionary idea for phones, although a miniature touch screen adds a significant cost to the final product.

The projection is that it should sell a ton when it actually ships in about 6 months.  One issue that’s popped up in some commentary is the battery.  It’s not changeable, which means that it will have to be replaced by Apple (or a third party) who would like nothing more than to exploit this built in obsolescence by selling a replacement instead.  That’s how the iPod market seems to work.  Extending that “feature” to phones seems a natural for Apple.  Cool or not, consumer acceptances will still factor in costs ($499 to $599 depending on the model) and the phone company contracts.  We’ll see how that all works out at the time.

January 11, 2007 | Permalink

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