Apple could be sued over iPhone

By Matthew Henry

SAN JOSE, USA: Network products developer, Cisco Systems, is attempting to sue Apple over its new iPhone, which was announced yesterday at Macworld 2007, claiming it already owns the iPhone name and currently has iPhone products in the market.

The lawsuit has been filed with the United States District Court for the Northern Disctrict of California, with Cisco seeking an injunction against the hybrid iPod-mobile-phone, claiming Apple deliberately copied its registered trademark.

Cisco claims it acquired the iPhone trademark in 2000 after acquiring Infogear, which sold iPhone-branded products for a number of years.

Linksys, a division of Cisco, already has a product range in the market under the iPhone brand, which began shipping early last year and was expanded in December last year.

A statement issued by Cisco today suggests there was dialogue between the two companies in the lead-up to Apple’s iPhone announcement at Macworld, but Cisco is clearly not satisfied with Apple’s response.

“Cisco entered into negotiations with Apple in good faith after Apple repeatedly asked permission to use Cisco’s iPhone name,” said Cisco senior vice president and general counsel, Mark Chandler.

“There is no doubt that Apple’s new phone is very exciting, but they should not be using our trademark without 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.”

Apple’s iPhone was unveiled yesterday by Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who heralded the product as a reinvention of the mobile phone. The sleek handheld device combines the functionality of Apple’s highly-successful iPod with a mobile phone and an internet communications device.

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