Now Cisco Systems says it’s Apple — not Cisco — that is standing in the way of licensing the iPhone trademark for Apple’s new iPod-cum-smartphone. The box in the illustration is a mock up to show what Cisco could have done if it had removed the digit.
Mark Chandler, Cisco senior VP and general counsel, keeps banging away about what decent chaps they. How Cisco has owned the iPhone trademark since 2000 when it bought Infogear Technology.
He said, ‘Infogear’s registrations for the mark date to 1996 before iMacs and iPods were even glimmers in Apple’s eye.’
So Cisco sued and Mark Chandler said, ‘If the tables were turned, do you think Apple would allow someone to blatantly infringe on their rights? How would Apple react if someone launched a product called iPod but claimed it was OK to use the name because it used a different video format?’
There he has a point. But the point is somewhat blunted if, as suggested, Cisco no longer owns the iPhone trademark.
The US Patent and Trademark Office shows the trademark was abandoned in late 2005/early 2006 because Cisco was not using it which means Apple is well within its rights.