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Cisco sues Apple over iPhone name
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kc311v2
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Jan 10, 2007, 06:46 PM
 
Hopefully this isn't a repost.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6250511.stm



Good strategy on Cisco's part (in getting the iPhone name before Apple).
     
turtle777
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Jan 10, 2007, 06:49 PM
 
I wonder what Apple's strateghy is. For sure they have a plan with that. It's all intentional.

-t
     
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Jan 10, 2007, 06:49 PM
 
Yeah, they will most likely get a nice fat paycheck from Apple for that. Good for them. Apple has cash to spend on this sort of thing so its not a huge deal. Just more press, which is good for both companies.
     
DeathMan
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Jan 10, 2007, 06:55 PM
 
I'm surprised they didn't clear the name before they announced what to them is obviously a very important product.
     
Eug Wanker
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Jan 10, 2007, 06:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by DeathMan View Post
I'm surprised they didn't clear the name before they announced what to them is obviously a very important product.
They were in negotiations, but no deal was ever reached.

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10000th post!!!

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::maroma::
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Jan 10, 2007, 06:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by DeathMan View Post
I'm surprised they didn't clear the name before they announced what to them is obviously a very important product.
Deadlines often supersede these sorts of negotiations. I'm sure they've been fighting Cisco for months and months. Cisco is going for the biggest check they can get from Apple. And honestly, waiting until after the introduction of the phone, with all the press surrounding it, is a great move on Cisco's part. They're getting press time and more money.
     
::maroma::
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Jan 10, 2007, 06:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug Wanker View Post
They were in negotiations, but no deal was ever reached.

EDIT:

10000th post!!! Now I'm clinically insane. Uh oh...
Grats on being insane!

Now the tag properly represents the man.
     
turtle777
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Jan 10, 2007, 07:06 PM
 
Nah, I can't believe that Apple would have dropped the ball on that. I'm sure there is more than meets the eye.

-t
     
Wiskedjak
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Jan 10, 2007, 07:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
I wonder what Apple's strateghy is. For sure they have a plan with that. It's all intentional.

-t
Maybe they thought Cisco wouldn't notice
     
glideslope
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Jan 10, 2007, 07:19 PM
 
Is it really about just a check? I'm sure Cisco wants money, but can't they still simply say "You can't use iPhone"?

Are you saying Apple could let another company manufacture and name a device called an iPod if they just wanted a BIG Check?

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Jan 10, 2007, 07:36 PM
 
SAN JOSE Calif., January 9, 2007 - Given Apple's numerous requests for permission to use Cisco's iPhone trademark over the past several years and our extensive discussions with them recently, it is our belief that with their announcement today, Apple intends to agree to the final document and public statement that were distributed to them last night and that addressed a few remaining items. We expect to receive a signed agreement today.
News @ Cisco: Cisco's Official Comments on the Apple iPhone Announcement

If Apple presents the signed paperwork, I'm willing to bet the lawsuit will be dropped.
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Wiskedjak
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Jan 10, 2007, 07:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by glideslope View Post
Is it really about just a check? I'm sure Cisco wants money, but can't they still simply say "You can't use iPhone"?

Are you saying Apple could let another company manufacture and name a device called an iPod if they just wanted a BIG Check?

It all comes down to who wants it more. If Cisco wants it badly enough that they aren't willing to sell their rights to it, then they won't. However, it can't imagine that Cisco wants is so badly that they aren't willing to sell it; it isn't crucial to their brand identity and, let's face it, anything named i[product name] that isn't an Apple product screams "cheap".

I imagine Cisco knows how badly Apple wants the rights to "iPhone" and is in the process of extorting Apple. What's interesting is that Cisco has been in negotiation with Apple for the rights to the name, probably knew Apple was really close to releasing the product Apple want to use the name on, and released their own iPhone just a few days earlier.
     
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Jan 10, 2007, 07:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by glideslope View Post
Is it really about just a check? I'm sure Cisco wants money, but can't they still simply say "You can't use iPhone"?

Are you saying Apple could let another company manufacture and name a device called an iPod if they just wanted a BIG Check?

One of the names would have to change. And most likely, if Apple pays Cisco, Apple will keep iPhone. Otherwise Apple will change the name. But Apple wont change the name. They would rather pay for the name.

Cisco has held out for years. They want to get paid paid paid. There's no other secret motive behind it. Its about money. Always is.
     
cjrivera
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Jan 10, 2007, 07:49 PM
 
I can imagine the Cisco lawyers during the negotiations being very similat to this....



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mac128k-1984
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Jan 10, 2007, 07:50 PM
 
Seems a little arrogant on apple's part to unveil a product that somebody else has a trademark.

Conversely I think this is just a legal move to increase the amount that cisco will get to sell the iphone trademark.
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Jan 10, 2007, 07:50 PM
 
The lawsuit could possibly fail on the two different designs.

Apple iPhone: cellular phone

Cisco iPhone: VOIP phone
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turtle777
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Jan 10, 2007, 08:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by Rumor View Post
The lawsuit could possibly fail on the two different designs.

Apple iPhone: cellular phone

Cisco iPhone: VOIP phone
But that could also mean that if Apple gets away with this, that there could never be a VoIP functionality in Apple's iPhone

-t
     
mac128k-1984
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Jan 10, 2007, 08:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by Rumor View Post
The lawsuit could possibly fail on the two different designs.

Apple iPhone: cellular phone

Cisco iPhone: VOIP phone
I think that argument is paper thin. Cisco has a trademark, iPhone that is a phone. Apple just unveiled iPhone that's a phone. No judge in the world would toss the case out based on the fact that one is cellular and the other VOIP. Both are phones and both are called iphone.
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gnomexp
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Jan 10, 2007, 08:28 PM
 
At least in the grand scheme of things, neither side will want this to go to trial, in front of a judge, etc. Trademark cases frequently rely on prior art and establishment as a brand. Unfortunately for Apple, the iPhone was trademarked in 1996 (and also produced, to my knowledge, before the iMac in 1998). While Apple trademarked iMac before (1993? 94?), they never had an existing product for the name iPhone to be copied from. Cisco's current iPhone, however, was released well after Apple established the iBrand, sometime in the last few months.

Furthermore, the original trademark was for "IPHONE", not "iPhone". The capitalization was probably added after Apple established the lowercase i as a distinctive brand identity. While Cisco might own the name itself, they certainly don't own any rights to the iBrand and based on the strong established identity of iMac, iBook, iPod, iTunes, iLife, iWork, iEtc., they might be forced to forfeit their right to the trademark.
     
turtle777
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Jan 10, 2007, 08:32 PM
 
Well, it's US law, so all bets are off.

-t
     
Eriamjh
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Jan 10, 2007, 08:35 PM
 
I don't know why Cisco is suing. The iPhone is not on sale yet. If Apple changes the name, where's the lawsuit? This is just a ploy to settle for more money.

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mac128k-1984
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Jan 10, 2007, 08:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post
I don't know why Cisco is suing.
...
This is just a ploy to settle for more money.
I think you just answered your own question. Since apple and cisco were already in negotiations for the iPhone trademark this just means apple will now have to pay more.
Michael
     
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Jan 10, 2007, 08:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
However, it can't imagine that Cisco wants is so badly that they aren't willing to sell it; it isn't crucial to their brand identity and, let's face it, anything named i[product name] that isn't an Apple product screams "cheap".
FYI, iPhone predates iMac.
Infogear started making phones under the iPhone name in 1997, and Cisco bought them out a few years later.
     
Scotttheking
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Jan 10, 2007, 09:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by ::maroma:: View Post
Deadlines often supersede these sorts of negotiations. I'm sure they've been fighting Cisco for months and months. Cisco is going for the biggest check they can get from Apple. And honestly, waiting until after the introduction of the phone, with all the press surrounding it, is a great move on Cisco's part. They're getting press time and more money.
You can't sue for trademark violation against a product that isn't out...Apple announced the name, and that constituted trademark violation. You are reading into it way too much.
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Sourbook
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Jan 10, 2007, 09:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by Rumor View Post
News @ Cisco: Cisco's Official Comments on the Apple iPhone Announcement

If Apple presents the signed paperwork, I'm willing to bet the lawsuit will be dropped.
The filing of the lawsuit is probably just a prelude to a kiss.
     
Kevin Moon
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Jan 10, 2007, 09:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by Rumor View Post
The lawsuit could possibly fail on the two different designs.

Apple iPhone: cellular phone

Cisco iPhone: VOIP phone
That would be stupid for apple to use an arguement like that. With 4G, which is going live later this year in the states, all voice services are going across the internet. This arguement would prevent apple from releasing a 4G device in the future without more litigation. They can use this defense if they are just looking for the now but I hope they are looking a little bit into the future.
     
mduell
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Jan 10, 2007, 10:13 PM
 
Cisco may not have "wanted" to file this suit, or be using it to try to extort more out of Apple. Apple didn't sign the documents before the big release, so Cisco has to defend their trademark to keep the trademark.
     
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Jan 10, 2007, 10:16 PM
 
Anybody noticed that on Apple - iPhone it is referred to by two names - iPhone and iPhone? Is it an oversight? Or will it adopt a final name in a similar way as iTV did becoming TV at the end?

Surely, Apple's iPhone name is not the same as Cisco's iPhone.
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Jan 10, 2007, 10:24 PM
 
I read somewhere Cisco-Linksys rushed its iPhone into market when the Apple iPhone rumors started circulating YEARS ago, before that the iPhone trademark was supposedly rotting away under Linksys' ownage.
     
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Jan 10, 2007, 10:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by wunderkind View Post
Surely, Apple's iPhone name is not the same as Cisco's iPhone.
Tell me this: suppose Apple owned the rights to "iPhone". Suppose a smaller company named a product *iPhone. What do you think would happen?

hint: how many companies has Apple forced to remove the word "pod" from their product or company names? Products not even closely related to MP3 players.
     
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Jan 10, 2007, 10:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by legionare View Post
I read somewhere Cisco-Linksys rushed its iPhone into market when the Apple iPhone rumors started circulating YEARS ago, before that the iPhone trademark was supposedly rotting away under Linksys' ownage.
Wouldn't surprise me. Smart move if you wanna make a little quick cash.
     
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Jan 11, 2007, 12:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
Tell me this: suppose Apple owned the rights to "iPhone". Suppose a smaller company named a product *iPhone. What do you think would happen?

hint: how many companies has Apple forced to remove the word "pod" from their product or company names? Products not even closely related to MP3 players.
It depends, if the smaller company started the i-trend and 90% of their product started with iSomething, it should be in favor of the smaller company.

As far as I know, Apple invented the iSomething and started the trend, and Cisco has no business putting a "i" in front of their product. What if Wal-Mart made it's own products and called them WalSomething, they can't trademark every name beginning with Wal- but it's usage should be reserved to them, because it would confuse consumers.

The majority of Apple's products revolve around the "i" prefix: they basically invented it. Someone seeing iPhone will inevitably think that the product is made by Apple, as with any product starting with "i". The "i" is tied with Apple's name. A lamp that would be made by Apple would be called an iLamp.

So screw Cisco (actually screw them twice for suing a mere day after the announcement.. who said Apple wasn't going to sign the agreement?)
     
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Jan 11, 2007, 12:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by FireWire View Post
It depends, if the smaller company started the i-trend and 90% of their product started with iSomething, it should be in favor of the smaller company.

As far as I know, Apple invented the iSomething and started the trend, and Cisco has no business putting a "i" in front of their product. What if Wal-Mart made it's own products and called them WalSomething, they can't trademark every name beginning with Wal- but it's usage should be reserved to them, because it would confuse consumers.
Man. You don't know how wrong you are. I'd be all for defending Apple in this, hadn't the iPhone trademark been filed in 1996 - a full two years before Apple came along with it's iMac.

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FireWire
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Jan 11, 2007, 12:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
Man. You don't know how wrong you are. I'd be all for defending Apple in this, hadn't the iPhone trademark been filed in 1996 - a full two years before Apple came along with it's iMac.
Well, I had seen many dates circulating, I wasn't sure which one was correct. Anyway, they didn't really use it and you have to admit that Apple has the "monopoly" over it's use now. If you see "i", you think Apple, thus Apple deserve the "priority" for the name, in my opinion. A little bit like the OS-9 lawsuit a few years ago. Some company had trademarked "OS-9" and sued Apple when they released the Mac OS 9, and they lost.

In any way, I think it's stupid from Cisco to sue so soon after the announcement. They were already in talks with Apple and they were close to an agreement. They sent another offer the night before the keynote and the show must go on. Apple couldn't change every banners or postpone the event because "there were a few small details that remained to be cleared with Cisco"..

Sorry, but Ci$co lost all the respect they had from me..
( Last edited by FireWire; Jan 11, 2007 at 12:35 AM. )
     
Wiskedjak
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Jan 11, 2007, 12:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by FireWire View Post
It depends, if the smaller company started the i-trend and 90% of their product started with iSomething, it should be in favor of the smaller company.

As far as I know, Apple invented the iSomething and started the trend, and Cisco has no business putting a "i" in front of their product. What if Wal-Mart made it's own products and called them WalSomething, they can't trademark every name beginning with Wal- but it's usage should be reserved to them, because it would confuse consumers.

The majority of Apple's products revolve around the "i" prefix: they basically invented it. Someone seeing iPhone will inevitably think that the product is made by Apple, as with any product starting with "i". The "i" is tied with Apple's name. A lamp that would be made by Apple would be called an iLamp.

So screw Cisco (actually screw them twice for suing a mere day after the announcement.. who said Apple wasn't going to sign the agreement?)
So, what Apple needs to do then is patent the use of an "i" in front of a product name.
     
- - e r i k - -
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Jan 11, 2007, 12:50 AM
 
Confusing patents with trademarks are you?

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FireWire
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Jan 11, 2007, 12:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
Confusing patents with trademarks are you?
Method and apparatus to automatically trademark any word to which the 9th letter of the alphabet would be added as a prefix.
     
- - e r i k - -
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Jan 11, 2007, 01:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by FireWire View Post
Method and apparatus to automatically trademark any word to which the 9th letter of the alphabet would be added as a prefix.

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driven
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Jan 11, 2007, 02:24 AM
 
much ado about nothing. If anything this will drop the stock down a few bucks. (read: buying opportunity approaching)
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Jan 11, 2007, 08:01 AM
 
Rendezvous, anyone?
     
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Jan 11, 2007, 08:36 AM
 
I'm a bit confused about Apple's direction here. It almost looks as if they are in the midst of an identity crisis. They changed the name of many of their computers, specifically removing "iBook". They have changed their name to remove the "Computer", a good move as specifically calling something computer based or "e" or "i" is getting to be redundant in technology because technologies continue to converge. I also agree with the decision to call their television connected appliance the "AppleTV" as again, I think the whole "i" concept was worn out years ago and today simply looks out-dated and reaching to see how many things named "i" they can come up with. Someone noted that anyone but Apple using "i" simply sounds cheap. I'll go one step farther and state that it's just as cheap when Apple uses it anymore.

Given that the iPhone name was already trademarked, why not take the opportunity to go down this new path and call it the ApplePhone? Or how about this, as crazy as it sounds, come up with a new branding strategy?
     
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Jan 11, 2007, 08:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
Confusing patents with trademarks are you?
Perhaps. But, I think the process of adding an "i" to the beginning of a product name might constitute a patent. Of course, it's ridiculous.
     
driven
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Jan 11, 2007, 09:01 AM
 
Perhaps they will end up releasing this as "ApplePhone". Nah ... that sounds too fruity.

Almost like a phone that a mayor would have as a direct line to a super-hero called "AppleMan". (The defender of New York?)
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Jan 11, 2007, 09:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
FYI, iPhone predates iMac.
Infogear started making phones under the iPhone name in 1997, and Cisco bought them out a few years later.
Yep. And Apple is always the first to start throwing punches and sticking their chest out threatening to sue. Its about time they got a taste of their own medicine. One thing I could never stand about them.
     
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Jan 11, 2007, 09:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by driven View Post
Perhaps they will end up releasing this as "ApplePhone". Nah ... that sounds too fruity.

Almost like a phone that a mayor would have as a direct line to a super-hero called "AppleMan". (The defender of New York?)
It's possible "AppleTV" emerged because they also had difficulty acquiring "iTV". Though, this looks like another blatant infringement on Apple's sole right to place an "i" in front of their product names.
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turtle777
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Jan 11, 2007, 09:45 AM
 
^^^ Actually, that's possible, but I'm not sure.

They might only own the rights in the UK, and it is a whole different product, so their rights might not even pertain to hardware products.

-t
     
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Jan 11, 2007, 09:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
^^^ Actually, that's possible, but I'm not sure.

They might only own the rights in the UK, and it is a whole different product, so their rights might not even pertain to hardware products.

-t
Agreed. Just speculating as to why Apple went with "AppleTV" rather than "iTV" and why we might end up seeing something like "ApplePhone". Could also be that there are some less obvious US held rights over "iTV"
     
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Jan 11, 2007, 10:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by Rumor View Post
The lawsuit could possibly fail on the two different designs.

Apple iPhone: cellular phone

Cisco iPhone: VOIP phone
Looks like Apple might actually be positioning itself for this argument.

WSJ via BoingBoing
Boing Boing: Cisco vs. Apple: lawsuit over The Jesus Phone. Plus: Zunephone.
Apple spokesman Steve Dowling called the Cisco lawsuit "silly," adding there are several companies using the term iPhone for VOIP products, and Cisco's trademark is "tenuous at best."

"We're the first company to ever use the iPhone name for a cellphone," he said. "If Cisco wants to challenge us on it, we're very confident we'll prevail."
     
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Jan 11, 2007, 10:37 AM
 
One possible reason for Apple not having signed the deal with Cisco on time could be simply the terms that Cisco was specifying were unacceptable. And of course, as mentioned above, it was too late to change everything on display at Macworld.

Say for example Cisco wanted Apple to agree to never produce a VOIP-capable phone. That would most likely grind Jobs' gears. Possibly why we heard no mention of VOIP compatibility at the Keynote.

Though lack of VOIP capability might also have something to do with the deal with Cingular...

Regardless, Cisco is in their right to defend their trademark. Apple should have settled this months ago.
     
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Jan 11, 2007, 10:42 AM
 
This is really good for both companies.

Cisco gets free press for a product that was previously only known in niche circles. Apple gets (if this is even possible) MORE press for it's amazing new product. In the end a small amount of money will be exchanged and a few lawyers will make some bucks.

Everyone gets a happy ending.
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