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Cisco VP Explains Lawsuit Against Apple

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the all-very-rational dept.

Patents 303

Dekortage writes "The day after Apple announced its iPhone, Cisco sued over the name. Mark Chandler, Cisco's SVP and General Counsel, has posted an explanation of the suit on his blog: 'For the last few weeks, we have been in serious discussions with Apple over how the two companies could work together and share the iPhone trademark. ...I was surprised and disappointed when Apple decided to go ahead and announce their new product with our trademarked name without reaching an agreement. It was essentially the equivalent of "we're too busy."' What did Cisco want? '[We] wanted an open approach. We hoped our products could interoperate in the future.'" Another reader wrote to mention that already, Cisco's trademark might be in trouble in Europe.

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Find a better name (5, Insightful)

superangrybrit (600375) | more than 7 years ago | (#17575458)

2 years buys a lot of time to find a better name than some fisher price type naming. I thought Apple was an artistic company?

Re:Find a better name (5, Funny)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 7 years ago | (#17575558)

I just trademarked "iDoorStop", "iPaperWieght", and "iNotFunny"

Re:Find a better name (4, Funny)

ubrgeek (679399) | more than 7 years ago | (#17575678)

Well, there's no doubt you'll be able to win any lawsuit contesting, "iNotFunny" :)

It's a joke people ... There's no Troll here. Move along ..

Re:Find a better name (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17575910)

Wow, the mac zealot mods are sure out in full force today. Two harmless posts and 3 negative moderations.

Re:Find a better name (0, Flamebait)

shaneh0 (624603) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576440)

Tru Dat.

The idea that Apple is any different than any corporate giant is laughable. Any fanboy of a company that size is just another consumer whore.

MOD UP: Mod points going to Mac users today? (5, Insightful)

Alaren (682568) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576996)

You know, I can see how language like "fisher price type naming" and the rhetorical question at the end could be seen as flamebait, but only for zealots. This post concisely (if somewhat cruelly) makes many excellent points.

The fact is, "iPhone" is not nearly as original as even "iPod." It's not just that putting "i" in front of things is only creative to a point, "iPod" is clearly more original and creative than "iMusicPlayer" or "iMP3" or "iSong" because "Pod" doesn't immediately inspire music.

Which is not to say that "iPhone" isn't a valuable name, but Apple is an artistic company, and until recently they were largely a "we don't play dirty like Redmond" company. Sure, corporate tactics are rarely what you'd call "kind," and Apple has had their fair share of lawsuits, but their use of iPhone after literally years of failed negotiations with Cisco is flat-out brazen disregard. It is the sort of petulant "but we're so much cooler than Cisco" that I might expect from Microsoft, but never from Apple. Even their teflon veneer and Jobs' reality-distortion field aren't enough to make them look like the good guys on this one.

Apple could, I believe, easily have come up with an alternative name. I believe it well within their creative capacity. They came up with "iPod," after all, and their use of the word "pod" has proven an extremely strong trademark in the audio realm, for many legal reasons I won't go into here. They could do the same with their new phone, but they've chosen instead to select the predictable and arguably generic name "iPhone" despite obvious legal issues.

The only question I have is whether Apple's legal department is doing shoddy work, or Jobs just disregarded the legal advice they provided to him?

Anyhow, if I still had mod points I would mod parent up, despite the tone. Apple screwed up, and went against much of the good precedent they've been setting for themselves. They can do better.

Cringely's opinion (5, Insightful)

cgrayson (22160) | more than 7 years ago | (#17575468)

Robert X. Cringely talks about this in his weekly post today [pbs.org] . He points out that Apple already conceded the "i"-prefixed name from the iTV to Elgato, makers of the "EyeTV":

So Apple changed its marketing, diluting its whole "iThis" and "iThat" naming strategy in deference to Elgato, a company they could buy with a weekend's earnings from the iTunes Store, but chose to go toe-to-toe with Cisco, a company that's bigger, richer, and just as mean as Apple any day.

He says it all boils down to big publicity stunt, wherein Apple will get a big, free publicity boost when they finally back down and rename it the "Apple Phone". He also goes on to give his explanation for why the iPhone^H^H^H^H^H^HApple Phone won't support Cingular's 3G network.

Re:Cringely's opinion (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17575844)

It won't be long before we get the massive market re-branding: aPhone, aMac, and aPod.

Re:Cringely's opinion (5, Funny)

Beyond_GoodandEvil (769135) | more than 7 years ago | (#17575930)

It won't be long before we get the massive market re-branding: aPhone, aMac, and aPod

So soon I can tell all those mac fanbois to get aLife?

Laugh, it's funny.

Re:Cringely's opinion (-1, Redundant)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576268)

Dude, why would the mac fanbois need aLife when they already got iLife? The Windows users are the ones who need aLife.

Laugh, it's funny. :P

Re:Cringely's opinion (0, Troll)

The Dotmeister (1043252) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576796)

You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? Then who the hell else are you talkin' to? You talkin' to me? Well I'm the only one here. Now laugh...that was funny...

Re:Cringely's opinion (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17576836)

After all, they're not selling the aHole.

Everyone has one of those.

Re:Cringely's opinion (0, Redundant)

shotgunsaint (968677) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576168)

I can't wait to get my apple-branded post hole diggers so I can make an aHole.

Re:Cringely's opinion (2, Interesting)

PygmySurfer (442860) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576378)

So Apple changed its marketing, diluting its whole "iThis" and "iThat" naming strategy in deference to Elgato, a company they could buy with a weekend's earnings from the iTunes Store

Right, even though when they first announced it they claimed iTV was only a code name. It couldn't be because of the numerous other [wikipedia.org] products or services already called iTV. I doubt Apple "backed-off" from the iTV name just to appease El Gato. iTV was always a code name, NOT a product name.

I certainly fail to see the dilution of the iThis and iThat crap - iPod, iLife, iChat, iWork, iTunes - if they actually WERE trying to play down the iBlah naming, why the hell would they even consider calling their new product the iPhone?

You know, I used to think Cringley wasn't all that bad - the past year or so though he seems to be just another blowhard, almost in the same league as John Dvorak.

As for the lawsuit, I actually hope Apple loses - iPhone is a stupid name, IMHO. Apple Phone or even iPod Phone would be better names.

And when are we going to see a plain old iPod based on this fancy new tech? Drop the phone, keep the wireless and PDA functions, slap an 80gb hard drive on it, and you'd print money with the thing.

Re:Cringely's opinion (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576678)

End of June, I expect. An iPhone or iPod sized device with that screen that I can put my own apps on? Sold.

Re:Cringely's opinion (0)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576402)

'For the last few weeks, we have been in serious discussions with Apple over how the two companies could work together and share the iPhone trademark. ...I was surprised and disappointed when Apple decided to go ahead and announce their new product with our trademarked name without reaching an agreement. It was essentially the equivalent of "we're too busy." [We] wanted an open approach. We hoped our products could interoperate in the future.'


Cisco sounds like a date who's been stood up and had her feelings hurt: "I thought we really had some chemistry. But then he's too busy to even call me. And I thought we really had some potential. Do you think he'll call me?" Piece of advice, Cisco: hire some decent PR guys. This kind of stuff makes you sound really whiny, and the whole trademarking an iPhone before Apple move just reeks of desperation.

Re:Cringely's opinion (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17576930)

And you sound like a shrill fanboi.

MacPhone (2, Interesting)

takev (214836) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576878)

What I find very strange is that Apple choose to use the iPhone name, as they wanted to use the Mac trademark more. I can understand that they would use the iPhone name as a continuation of the iPod brand, or to lift on the rumors of the press.

As the phone is basically a Mac OS X machine (if that is correct information) I would have expected they would call it the MacPhone.
From this point of view it would be unlikely to be called the Apple Phone. MacPhone also sound nicer.

Renamed? (1, Interesting)

HarvardFrankenstein (635329) | more than 7 years ago | (#17575530)

According to this [newsvine.com] AP article, they've renamed it to the iTouch Mobile.

I think people are going to keep calling it iPhone anyway, though.

Re:Renamed? (4, Informative)

HarvardFrankenstein (635329) | more than 7 years ago | (#17575586)

Oh gods, I'm an idiot [nowpublic.com] . Ignore me. :P

Re:Renamed? (1)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17575598)

That may have been their intention, but I don't know how successful that will be over the long term. After all, how many people still call the Wii the Revolution? Everyone said they would keep calling it the Revolution, but I don't know anyone who actually does.

Re:Renamed? (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#17575876)

Presumably they've cleared this with ELO, manufacturers of iTouch touchscreens. [elotouch.com] If your bank's ATM has a touchscreen CRT, it's probably an iTouch.

Then there's Logitech's iTouch. [logitech.com] , and the Logitech iTouch cordless keyboard and mouse.

And yes, both have registered trademarks.

Re:Renamed? (2, Informative)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17575940)

I can hear the ads now ....

The Divinyls I Touch Myself Lyrics

I love myself
I want you to love me
When I'm feelin' down
I want you above me
I search myself
I want you to find me
I forget myself
I want you to remind me

Chorus:
I don't want anybody else
When I think about you
I touch myself
I don't want anybody else
Oh no, oh no, oh no

You're the one who makes me happy honey
You're the sun who makes me shine
When you're around I'm always laughing
I want to make you mine

I close my eyes
And see you before me
Think I would die
If you were to ignore me
A fool could see
Just how much I adore you
I get down on my knees
I'd do anything for you

Chorus

I love myself
I want you to love me
When I'm feelin' down
I want you above me
I search myself
I want you to find me
I forget myself
I want you to remind me

Chorus

I want you
I don't want anybody else
And when I think about you
I touch myself
Ooh, oooh, oooooh, aaaaaah

Chorus

what were they thinking (2, Insightful)

frieked (187664) | more than 7 years ago | (#17575602)

You seriously have to wonder what were they thinking when they named it the iPhone without an agreement in place. One can only speculate that they planned to change the name all along but they needed to get the news out there about it and this was the best way.
Apple has no chance if this does make it to court... The fact that they've been trying to license the name for years proves that they acknowledge Cisco's trademark as valid.

Re:what were they thinking (0, Flamebait)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 7 years ago | (#17575990)

You seriously have to wonder what were they thinking when they named it the iPhone without an agreement in place.

Maybe they figured negotiations were well underway, and that the CEO of a company as big as Cisco could avoid having his poor wittle feelings hurt and acting like a jilted bride?

Re:what were they thinking (1)

Wovel (964431) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576182)

Your right ignore the Law. Apple should have sought a short term agreement to use the name for the announcement while the details of an actual agreement were being made. The CEO of Apple preferred to break off any good faith negotiations that were in progress and proceed to infringe on Ciscos trademark. Apple made a mistake, and a fairly significant one.

Re:what were they thinking (3, Insightful)

dekemoose (699264) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576840)

Cisco has no choice. If you fail to defend a trademark, you lose your claim to it. If they allowed Apple to proceed with their use of iPhone Apple would win by default.

Re:what were they thinking (1)

reidconti (219106) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576054)

I think it was something like this:

1. Attempt to negotiate with Cisco
2. Lackeys say "Steve, you can't call it the iPhone at MacWorld tomorrow, we don't have an agreement in place yet with Cisco!"
3. His Steveness: "Then you're not fucking trying hard enough, I'm gonna call it what I fucking want to call it, you figure it out!"
4. ???
5. Profit!

Re:what were they thinking (3, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576130)

One can only speculate that they. . .

Thought they had a deal. A legitimate understanding through negotiations in good faith (and the courts will often uphold good faith agreements if you can prove they actually existed). But they were dorks overanxious to use to name at the Grand Ball (which Cisco knew and manipulated) and put themselves at the mercy of Cisco who can now be a dick about the whole thing.

If Apple had said "We haven't named it yet," everyone would have just called it the iPhone anyway and deluted Cisco's mark without any liability to Apple.

KFG

Re:what were they thinking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17576234)

>The fact that they've been trying to license the name for years proves that they
>acknowledge Cisco's trademark as valid.

It means nothing of the sort, and that argument wouldn't hold in court.

Just because you're trying to negotiate a deal doesn't necessarily mean you concede anything to the other side.

Apple may have just found a loophole in Cisco's claim, have substancial proof of agreement intent with Cisco, or possibly many other scenarios.

Re:what were they thinking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17576266)

The fact that they've been trying to license the name for years proves that they acknowledge Cisco's trademark as valid.

No, it does not. In fact, the United States Supreme Court just ruled that licensing a patent does not prevent challenging that same patent in court. So, I think you are wrong, as do 8 out of 9 Supreme Court justices.

Anyways, none of this matters. Cisco does not make a cell phone named the iPhone and Apple's product is not yet shipping.

Re:what were they thinking (1)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576534)

Someone who contradicts a comment about trademarks with a ruling about patents isn't in much of a position to tell anyone they're wrong.

Re:what were they thinking (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576780)

Repeat after me: Trademarks are not patents.

You can get a trademark diluted if you fail to protect it (see Otis Escalators) but as long as you're on top of the registration, show a dedicated desire to protect it (like the boilerplate Adobe Photoshop form letters) and not let it lapse (Cisco released a recent iPhone in 2006) it's pretty much rock solid.

Plus, 'iPhone' isn't as generic term like 'Windows' so the Linspire argument won't work.

You cannot use 'prior art' in a trademark dispute. You cannot use 'obviousness' in a trademark dispute. Trademarks aren't methods of manufacturing. It's a registered name. You either have it or you don't.

Re:what were they thinking (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576386)

Steve Jobs wanted to make the announcement during MacWorld. That's the only reason.

Re:what were they thinking (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576462)

Well it does seem like a very funny move. One possibility, I suppose, is that someone at Apple messed up, claimed it was worked out, and it wasn't. It may be that Apple decided they really wanted the trademark and they decided to just use it, and work the whole thing out in court.

It seems to me that it's kind of a lost cause for Cisco. People on rumor sites have been calling this thing an "iPhone" for years, even when it was just a rumored R&D project. It has so overwhelmingly been referred to as the "iPhone" during its anticipation that, no matter what Apple called it at release, people would refer to it as "the iPhone". Now it's been officially announced as the iPhone. It's a done deal.

I think Apple should concede to Cisco and call it, instead, "the iPod phone". Go ahead, let Cisco have their victory. People will still call it the iPhone. If Cisco tries to market anything as the iPhone, people will say, "that's not a real iPhone. That's some crap made by some other company."

Ironically, trademarks are meant to prevent brand dilution, and the only company with any brand recognition for the name "iPhone" doesn't own the trademark. Cisco has no brand recognition here to dilute, and never did.

Holding the cards too close (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576684)

You seriously have to wonder what were they thinking when they named it the iPhone without an agreement in place.

I think it's very simple: they were dead set against leaking anything about what they were going to announce at MacWorld, so they couldn't risk divulging anything about it to Cisco and felt they could just smooth things over after the fact. They bet they could negotiate for the trademark with Cisco later. They didn't count on Cisco actually releasing a product first, but by then Apple's secret plans were already set in stone.

Apple was bit by their own desire for secrecy, that's all. They didn't want anyone talking; it's the not talking that's gotten the whole company in trouble this time.

Re:what were they thinking (1)

MoneyT (548795) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576708)

he fact that they've been trying to license the name for years proves that they acknowledge Cisco's trademark as valid.

Wasn't there a recent ruling whereby someone paying royalties on a patent could still challenge the validity of said patent? Seems like you could apply it similarly in this case.

Why not... (0)

jivemonkey (776115) | more than 7 years ago | (#17575618)

...name it the AyePhone captain Jobs?

The truth about Apple (4, Insightful)

The_Abortionist (930834) | more than 7 years ago | (#17575632)

Suckling at Apple's dick might be a good way of getting a dose protein by many slashdotters. But it's hypocritical.

Apple is ALL ABOUT:

-DRM
-Proprietary hardware
-Proprietary software
-Closed protocols
-Lock-ins
-selected compatibility

And just about everything else relating to total control. It's CEO is also know for pulling tantrums.

If you prefer Apple because its one and only way fits well, that's fine. But please stop looking down others (Microsoft users, Linux, etc), because you're the inferior drones.

Re:The truth about Apple (4, Insightful)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 7 years ago | (#17575854)

Yep. Yep yep. Yep. Yep yep yep.

You are correct.

But! Apple's products are simple and easy to use. They do what they're designed for. And they are elegant. In a lot of cases a Mac is the right tool for the job. It does, however, frighten me how quickly the 'geek community' has gotten onboard with Apple. Steve Jobs is the best salesman in the world. He sold the smartest community (geeks, by definition) on their biggest enemy (closed everything), and made them love what he's doing. Rather appalling if you ask me.

Re:The truth about Apple (4, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#17575978)

First off, geeks aren't nearly as smart as they like to pretend they are.

Second, Close sourse isn't the 'enemy' of geeks. Almost everything Geek enjoy is closed in some manner. DOn't believe me? DO a spiderman comic* and see how fast you get closed down.

Many geeks use windows; which is less open, and not as powerfull as OSX.

Apple makes toys that make geeks wet their pants.

*or any number of things, I chose comics as an example.

Re:The truth about Apple (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17577004)

Many geeks use windows; which is less open, and not as powerfull as OSX.

Neither one is as open as Linux, nor arguably as powerful (a lot of functionality missing in OSX is in the Linux kernel let alone userspace apps that aren't ported to Win32 OR OSX yet.)

Or of course, *BSD, etc.

Yet we keep doing it, shooting ourselves in the foot. I'm getting my Linux on lately (I'm actually using Ubuntu right now) and well, I'm glad I'm a geek, because if I were an ordinary user I'd never have figured out how to get GLX working at the same time as SMP. (And no, envy didn't work, it installed one version of the module and another version of the driver. Whee!)

Re:The truth about Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17576640)

Heh - you're right. What's sad, though, is that Apple does a disservice to it's shareholders by not opening up. Examples:

1) Let OS/X be usable on any Intel platform. Sell it on the shelf. Sell it via OEM on new Intel-based PCs. Increase your userbase. Increase profitability immediately. Imageine - OS/X being able to go head-to-head vs Windows. But Alas, Apple is too retarded to see this.

2) Open up iTMS to other players. Selling more music is a good thing, right? Again, Apple passing up easy money by locking it in to iPods. I personally, nor will I let anyone in my family, buy a POS iPod just for this reason alone.

3) Their whole thing with the iPhone. The price is stupid (and their quoted prices are AFTER rebate if memory serves). Also, had they just made it an open-network phone, letting people buy them from all the major carriers, imagine how much better it'd sell. I don't know of very many people who will change providers just to have an iPhone.

Re:The truth about Apple (2, Insightful)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576790)

If you prefer Apple because its one and only way fits well, that's fine. But please stop looking down others (Microsoft users, Linux, etc), because you're the inferior drones.

I look down on any person as inferior who thinks there's something wrong with buying and using whatever I like best for whatever reasons make the most sense for me.

Not patents (4, Informative)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#17575688)

IANAL, but I think the Patents icon is misleading here. While Patents and trademarks can share similar intellectual property issues, they're applied to different things for different reasons. A patent is generally to protect a method, product, device, or similar tangible things, while trademarks are used for words, phrases, logos, symbols, and such descriptives.

The rules governing them are also fundamentally different on many levels. For example, while you can patent something and then sit on it until someone else actually makes the thing and then sue, a trademark must generally be in use to remain protected.

More, as usual, on WP. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Not patents (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 7 years ago | (#17575972)

IANAL, but I think the Patents icon is misleading here.

My theory, which is mine, that I have, which you may ask, is this: "There is no Trademarks section or topic on Slashdot". Since a topic and section must be specified, the closest match, "Patents", was chosen.

Re:Not patents (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576732)

My theory, which is mine, that I have, which you may ask, is this: "There is no Trademarks section or topic on Slashdot". Since a topic and section must be specified, the closest match, "Patents", was chosen.
We have here on Slashdot today, an elk. Eurgh!!

You do have a point, but I don't think it helps either the patent or trademark issues to lump them together. If /. doesn't want to make a "trademark" section, I feel the standard complement of legal-issues icons would suffice here.

Re:Not patents (2, Funny)

Skreems (598317) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576928)

Don't you mean "iAnal"?

Openness and Cisco? (1, Offtopic)

jsailor (255868) | more than 7 years ago | (#17575794)

Open like: (E)IGRP, HSRP, CDP, ISL, BGP hacks, and many, many other protocols and technologies.
Please, Cisco was looking to use the trademark as a tool for wedging their way further into the consumer market segment and gaining some form of inside track on a device that Apple wants to keep third parties off of. Combination WiFi and cellular phones are somewhat hot in the minds of some corporations as are many forms of communications "convergence".

Pretending that Cisco is open is like pretending that Microsoft is an innovator. There are shreds of evidence to support the claim, but by and large, it's untrue.

Re:Openness and Cisco? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17576280)

Oh shut the fuck up and read the names on the RFCs the IETF puts out. Cisco contributes reguarly to protocol standardization. Several of the protocols you're bitching about have equivilant open standard alternatives that are fully supported in IOS. HSRP -> VRRP; isl -> 802.1q

examples:
ftp://ftp.rfc-editor.org/in-notes/rfc4456.txt [rfc-editor.org]
ftp://ftp.rfc-editor.org/in-notes/rfc4364.txt [rfc-editor.org]
ftp://ftp.rfc-editor.org/in-notes/rfc4062.txt [rfc-editor.org]
ftp://ftp.rfc-editor.org/in-notes/rfc3137.txt [rfc-editor.org]
ftp://ftp.rfc-editor.org/in-notes/rfc4443.txt [rfc-editor.org]
ftp://ftp.rfc-editor.org/in-notes/rfc4659.txt [rfc-editor.org]

Re:Openness and Cisco? (1, Troll)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576882)

Several of the protocols you're bitching about have equivilant open standard alternatives that are fully supported in IOS. HSRP -> VRRP; isl -> 802.1q

That is not a defense. If there are equivalent open standard alternatives, why did they feel the need to create closed ones? Answer: Because they want to institute lock-in. It's just that simple.

Re:Openness and Cisco? (1)

Bathory's Curse (445028) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576396)

They wanted to be open with Apple (aka NDA), nobody said anything about being open with the public.

Re:Openness and Cisco? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17576472)

I'm sure that with such a bold statement you have facts to back them up?

EIGRP is Cisco Proprietary and it actually outperforms OSPF for scalability and convergence (albeit slightly)
CDP is a licensed technology that other LAN switching companies have in fact licensed. There is a workgroup underway to standardize such technology but it doesn't exist today. Guess what its going to be based off of?
ISL/HSRP-> Both of these fall into the same category. Nothing standardized existed at the time they were developed. Cisco created their own version and submitted how they did things to the workgroup. As their became a standard (VRRP/Dot1q) Cisco has added support and even switched to those for default. Most if not all NEW Cisco LAN products only support dot1q.

Why not talk about EAP-FAST, which was submitted as an RFC and implemented by many other Authentication systems.
Oh, lets talk about TKIP/MIC. Guess who did it first? (TKIP was based off of what is now now as CKIP. Primary difference is the length of the IV)

Oh, you want OPEN as is show me the code? Nope not what he meant. Opened as in interoperability , yep see above.

Next time some apple fan boy or Cisco/Microsoft(Or insert Large Corporate entity of your choice) hater wants to post something, at least take the time to learn what the fuck your talking about.

Re:Openness and Cisco? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17576638)

The irony of the OP quoting Tony Li in his sig is hilarious.

Open Standards? Yes (1)

mungtor (306258) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576980)

You're confusing open standards and open source. Cisco contributes regularly to RFCs and generally opens it's protocol standards... the ones _they_ developed to solve problems.

Open source people often miss the point of standards and interoperability, somehow thinking that having many "standards" that you can peruse the source of is somehow useful. That's why they sound like such ignorant assholes when they bash companies like Cisco (or Sun, etc).

Just like iTV.... (0, Redundant)

mahju (160244) | more than 7 years ago | (#17575806)

Hmm it was only a couple of months ago that Apple announced, to its developers and the world, the "iTV" (also the name of a UK TV channel - gasp - the horror, what will they do!) , which then this week changed to Apple TV.

Now Apple announces the iPhone to the world (also the name of an existing product - gasp - the horror, what will they do!)... Hmmm me thinks the "Apple Phone" or similar is on its way...

or (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#17575864)

iPod phone.
Which would be called the iPhone by the general public giving Apple a defacto trademark.

Re:Just like iTV.... (2, Insightful)

radish (98371) | more than 7 years ago | (#17575904)

The difference is that when the iTV was announced they specifically said that wasn't the final name, presumably because they new about the existing trademarks and possibility of confusion or litigation. In this case, they called it the iPhone, and even though they knew all about the existing trademarks they didn't say anything about the name being a placeholder. I don't think they have any plans to change it unless they're forced to.

Re:Just like iTV.... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576262)

Apple could probably have got away with calling it an iTV without upsetting ITV, since trademarks are domain-specific and a set top box is a very different domain to a TV channel. Unfortunately, the Apple TV is (feature-wise) very similar to the Elgato eyeTV, and this would cause confusion in the marketplace, and so be a problem. The difference between Elgato and Cisco? Elgato make products that add value to Apple brands, Cisco doesn't.

Re:Just like iTV.... (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576454)

Not really - the iTV downloads video and plays it on your TV. ITV transmits video to your TV (ok, not directly, but I digress).

There's heaps of space for confusion there. Not to mention ITV is a household name whether the overlap is there or not.

To frame it in a way Americans can relate to, If they'd named it 'CNN' they'd have had the identical trouble.

Re:Just like iTV.... (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576884)

I disagree; IMHO there's potential for confusion between a product based around TV and a TV channel. I don't consider the two to be "very different domains". More significantly, there was ITV plc's digital terrestrial TV service, "ITV Digital", which used set-top boxes. Although this was disastrous and went bankrupt, I suspect most people still remember of it (it was the basis of Freeview). Plus, ITV plc seem to be keen on leveraging the ITV brand, and I doubt they'd take kindly to something which *is* broadly in the same domain using their name.

why not just call it the .. (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 7 years ago | (#17575824)

Hey Steve, why not just call it the íPhone

"surprised and disappointed" (2, Insightful)

Speare (84249) | more than 7 years ago | (#17575866)

Legalities aside, and I'm not defending the legal aspects of Apple's continued use of the mark, but I'm sure Steve was "surprised and disappointed" too. Apple was apparently talking with Cisco all that time, just to have Cisco actually ship a product with the name just a month before the MacWorld keynote. If Cisco wants to paint itself as the poor hapless guy who got shafted on a sharing agreement mid-negotiation, I don't think it will really hold water. Apple spent how much on the collateral printing for the keynote, prior to the Cisco release? If Cisco puts out an iTurd with an "iPhone" sticker, I'm sure Apple's desire to be associated with Cisco and to share the trademark drops even more.

Note that Cisco is trying to win in the court of public opinion. Apple is remaining very mum about the whole thing. Which one is going to be seen as reasonable public pre-trial behavior in a court case is actually very debatable.

Re:"surprised and disappointed" (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576138)

Cisco *has* to challenge Apple. It owns the trademark. Apple has essentially agreed Cisco's ownership of iPhone is legit by talking to them about it. If Cisco didn't challenge it, their claim to it would become tenuous. We know this from every single time a trademark dispute is on slashdot. Trying to guess the motives of companies is pointless, and only serves to nicely illustrate your leanings.

Re:"surprised and disappointed" (2, Insightful)

Speare (84249) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576482)

One, "defend the mark" does not equate to "fire off a lawsuit immediately." That's only one tactic that serves the purpose of defending the mark. The fact that documented negotiations exist at all is sufficient to show that they were holding up the legal requirements for defense of the mark.

Two, "fire a lawsuit" is sufficient, but to then hold press conferences or litter the WSJ with press releases explaining to uninvolved parties *why* they executed a legal option is not beneficial to their situation in any legally binding way, so why do it? Reason: public relations pressure. Cisco customers and shareholders are asking Cisco why they're being big poopy-heads when they could resolve the mark issue in a myriad of other methods.

Re:"surprised and disappointed" (1)

toounknown (634544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576464)

Regardless, Cisco owns the trademark.

This would be like saying I make a better Ford Explorer, So I should be allowed to call it Ford Explorer, and let the original owner of the brand be damned.

Just look at all of the nockoff products coming out of Asia these days. Some of them ARE actually better than the originals with a much lower price.

That still doesn't give them the right to rip-off an established brand name. A trademark takes time and expense to establish. Trademarks also need to be used or they are lost.

The sad part is that negotiations of these types have to wind up in court. The lawyers will get rich off of this one for sure, and in the end, Apple is too arrogant to really care so long as the public buys it. Cisco really doesn't care except for the fact that they want more than just a one shot licensing deal.

Re:"surprised and disappointed" (1)

tfinniga (555989) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576544)

I'd agree with you that Apple is perhaps on dubious legal ground.

Another point I'd like to bring up is what Cisco was asking for. They weren't saying, pay us X dollars to buy the trademark. What they were saying was, "To use the trademark, you'll need to make your product compatible with ours. And we're going to keep calling ours the iPhone".

So, um, yeah, no. Compromising the design and functionality for a name? Vendor lockin for a name? Not so much. Besides, people would have to have a way of distinguishing between the Apple iPhone and the Cisco iPhone, because one will be awesome, and the other will suck.

So, they may end up just calling it the Apple Phone, instead of the Apple iPhone, but I think they're trying to see if they can get the courts to side with them that the voip phone and cell phone markets are different enough.

Re:"surprised and disappointed" (1)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576700)

I'm sure Steve was "surprised and disappointed" too.
[Insert joke about being caught in his own reality distortion field here, and how ironic that is]

[[ Follow up with discussion about how that isn't what ironic means ]]

Re:"surprised and disappointed" (1)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576762)

If I had mod points, I'd mod up parent up even further. Excellent point.

Yes, Cisco owns the name. Fine. But Apple was in fair negotiations with them about the name when they decided to launch their own product with it. Like parent says, Steve was probably pissed about their product launch too. Right back atcha, Cisco.

Re:"surprised and disappointed" (3, Interesting)

planetmn (724378) | more than 7 years ago | (#17577012)

One major difference. Cisco legally owns the name. Apple does not. So Cisco released a product, using a trademark that they own. Apple on the other hand, decided screw it, and released a product using somebody else's trademark. I really hope Apple gets there ass handed to them in court. It's arrogance and disrespect for the law. The same law that Apple relies on with their iPod empire.

Even if the negotiations were "fair", Cisco still had the legal right to release the product under the iPhone name, whereas Apple does not.

-dave

Re:"surprised and disappointed" (5, Insightful)

PsychicX (866028) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576934)

I'm sure Steve was "surprised and disappointed" too. Apple was apparently talking with Cisco all that time, just to have Cisco actually ship a product with the name just a month before the MacWorld keynote
Had you read the article, you would have known that Cisco has been shipping an IPhone product since it bought InfoGear in 2000, and InfoGear was shipping it in 1996.

They have a full decade of an active product with the name before Apple's announcement. This wasn't some Cisco ambush.

Open approach my behind (2, Insightful)

ParraCida (1018494) | more than 7 years ago | (#17575896)

After reading the full article, it seems very likely to me that this 'open approach' and 'interoperability' stuff from Cisco is them trying to hitch a ride on the success of the apple iphone. I can understand why Apple doesn't want their phone associated with the Linksys phone, so quite frankly I don't see how this can come as a surprise to Cisco.

On the other hand, iPhone is quite clearly a trademark belonging to Cisco, and Apple knows it. So should be interesting to see what is going to happen.

Re:Open approach my behind (1)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576532)

I can understand why Apple doesn't want their phone associated with the Linksys phone, so quite frankly I don't see how this can come as a surprise to Cisco.
If they don't want them associated with each other, then why would they have chosen to give it the same name? This seems like a really stupid move on Apple's part. Even if they eventually get the rights to call theirs the iPhone, Cisco can call their products the same thing to ride on Apple's success anyway.

He sounds like a bit of a whiner (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 7 years ago | (#17575908)

Not to be a Jobs fanboy, but the MacWorld keynote had a specific time and date, and the negotiations for iPhone moniker were not completed. End of story. So continue negotiations. No need to go into the magical dark elf world of lawyerdom where logic is tortured and common sense outlawed. It's just a fricken word.

Re:He sounds like a bit of a whiner (1)

Bathory's Curse (445028) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576528)

"It's just a fricken word."

Right, and so is 'iPod', tell that to Jobs.

Re:He sounds like a bit of a whiner (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576938)

OK. Steve? It's just a word. There. Happy?

Re:He sounds like a bit of a whiner (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17577014)

No, not a whiner, a power negotiator of the "Someone is going to get fucked in this deal and it ain't gonna be me" variety. He knows exactly what he's doing and why.

. . .the MacWorld keynote had a specific time and date

In a power negotiation it isn't necessarily the case that whoever holds the rights wins. It's whoever has a deadline loses. Rights don't really mean much of anything, power does, and rights are just one factor in who has power. A deadline is a weakness; and the closer to the deadline, the greater the weakness.

I'm no Jobs fanboy either. I think he's an asshole and has earned the right to be treated as such. But there is no "good guy" in this thing. We're witnessing Asshole v. Asshole here and Jobs simply made the mistake of being the asshole that has to bend over and get fucked.

KFG

Apple Corporation (3, Insightful)

mpapet (761907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17575964)

This is another example of the much-beloved Apple saying a firm no to interoperability. Now, it's probably the case that Cisco was asking for way too much. But this highlights Apple is only a little different than say, Microsoft when it comes down to pissing matches and interoperability.

At this point in history, both OS vendors will eat their babies. Beware brother, beeeware.

Mod me down for saying an unkind word about Apple, but there is at least a little truth to it.

macfanboys are so toast! (-1, Troll)

bananaendian (928499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17575968)

"' What did Cisco want? '[We] wanted an open approach. We hoped our products could interoperate in the future.'"

Oooh! this is so cool - all the macfanboys are hiding in caves while their god is being grilled by just about every geek and slashdottian in the universe. Steve Jobs is not just the enemy of opensource - he's actually so evil and greedy that he doesn't want anyone else to make third party apps for the thing [slashdot.org] and is proudly bragging about it.

Where are you now oh macfanboys! Come and defend your hero

Re:macfanboys are so toast! (4, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576112)

Steve Jobs isn't an 'Enemy' of open source. He doesn't activly fight against open source.

No third party apps* was so he could get a carrier.

*I think we all know people will find a way around this.

He is certianly NOT my hero. There are many thing to ream him on, this really isn't one of them.

It is interesting that this conflicts with an earlier memo from Cisco stating that all they needed was to wrap up some minor details of an agreement.

I don't know what Jobs is thinking, I do know he isn't stupid.

Re:macfanboys are so toast! (1)

thinksInCode (1029810) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576432)

> No third party apps* was so he could get a carrier. Bull. There are plenty of smartphones/PDAs carried by all the major carriers that have no restrictions on third party applications being installed - Treo, Windows Mobile devices, etc.

Re:macfanboys are so toast! (0, Troll)

plalonde2 (527372) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576404)

iPhone is an appliance. I don't want third-party apps on my fridge; I don't really want (to need) them on my phone.

It's intersting that my mac usage is also applicance-like. I plug it in, it works. Web, email, photos, music. For dev work, I run on either a separate box (using the mac as a terminal), or to a VM. As far as thrid party software on my mac, it has to be seriously well vetted: I don't want my appliance messed up - I spent too many years dealing with non-appliance linux distros and the decidedly non-appliance windows world to want to even screw around with any sysadmin shite on my "communication appliance".

When I get my iPhone, it won't be for 3rd party apps.

Re:macfanboys are so toast! (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576556)

iPhone is an appliance. I don't want third-party apps on my fridge; I don't really want (to need) them on my phone.

If iPhone is just a phone then it's an outrageously expensive previous generation one.

The whole *point* is that it is also a PDA - thus justifying the cost. If it's just a phone then it's got no chance.

Re:macfanboys are so toast! (1)

plalonde2 (527372) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576838)

I didn't say iPhone is "just a phone"; I said it's an appliance - it handles my phone calls, contacts, web browsing, email, and even maps (which would be better with GPS onboard - I think this is where iPhone fails).

A PDA is an appliance in the exact same way. If it doesn't do what I want, out of the box, then it's not the PDA for me. I'm not getting into farting around *administering* a damned PDA!

Interoperability? Yeah right! NOT! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17576038)

If Cisco was at all interested in interoperability, maybe they could start by officially supporting Linksys products on OS X, like they DON'T do now. Fucking liars >:-(

Captcha is "restrict"...niiiice

Is this true, Apple made a new company to (0, Offtopic)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576150)

circumvent the naming rights?

If this article is right Apple needs to be burned a little

http://money.canoe.ca/News/TopPhoto/2007/01/10/327 9889-ap.html [canoe.ca]

Re:Is this true, Apple made a new company to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17576392)

No, not to "circumvent naming rights" but to re-target the negotiation. This stuff happens *all the time* and is not illegal.

In Europe, it's "use it or lose it" (2, Informative)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576230)

I like that. It helps to reduce squatting, speculation, and hoarding.

Re:In Europe, it's "use it or lose it" (1)

percepto (652270) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576750)

In America, it's "use it or lose it" too. Especially with Trademarks.

I think that Cisco rushed the iPhone to market so that they could show that the mark was being used. Every time you file or renew a trademark, you have demonstrate use. If you don't use a trademark, then you can lose the rights to it.

Cisco pushed out the crappy iPhone a couple of weeks ago to solidify their position in terms of owning the iPhone trademark. Apple will probably have to pay them a big chunk of money to get access to the trademark.

Either that, or, as some others have suggested, Apple is just going to change the name to Apple Phone or something in the next couple of months. The official name will be "Apple Phone" but everyone will call it the "iPhone" forever since that is how it was introduced. It will be unofficial, but everyone will know that when you talk about iPhone, you really mean Apple Phone.

Re:In Europe, it's "use it or lose it" (1)

interiot (50685) | more than 7 years ago | (#17577022)

Is that true of patents in Europe as well? IMHO, the most onerous patent squatters are organizations who keep filing patents and never produce anything.

Typical Apple (1, Flamebait)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576238)

Apple, of course, has a long history of trying to steamroll other companies' trademarks, not the least of which would be the "Apple" name itself. In general, it has worked pretty well for them, so I don't anticipate any change in their policies. I expect that Cisco will probably relent after extracting a settlement from Apple. In the long run, though, I also expect that iWhatever will eventually be successfully challenged, probably by some relatively small company with more stubbornness than sense. (To be fair, as much as I dislike IP laws in general, if I was selling an iWidget, and I finally ended up in a smoky room full of attorneys saying, "Here's $5 million. Now shut the fuck up," I'd probably shut the fuck up.

The main reason the iWhatever branding strategy is shaky is that it amounts to claiming a trademark on a letter of the alphabet. Intel tried that strategy with numbers and it failed, which is why the 80586 came to be known as the Pentium, and this was with a company with pockets so deep they could hold a bushel of Apples. ;)

Re:Typical Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17576720)

IBM used the "i" prefix to rebrand their entire midrange AS/400 to the iSeries long before Apple got their fixation on the letter. They did the same with "z", "x" and some other letter I can't remember. I doubt IBM were the first to have products lines grouped under single letter prefixes either. Apple got lucky with a very successful product, and young kids coming online not knowing anything about other product branding outside their limited experience and budgets.

Some thoughts on strategy and the endgame (5, Insightful)

Alexis1537 (992826) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576358)

I think it's quite and interesting contest. It might be a case of Cisco only telling half the story (why would it open up completely on a blog?). The negotiations will almost certainly have been fairly complex. I see four major factors which may decide the outcome of this one. The two most-quoted ones are:

1) Apple's reliance on the "i" series of trade marks it already has. It will use this as a means of satisfying a test to determine the likelihood of confusion between the products. Some US legal experts have already claimed that this may not be a runner. We'll see (the area is heavily fact-specific so don't judge!)

2) Cisco's failure properly to defend its iphone trademark against usage by other third parties involved in a similar line of business. Can't really comment on that seeing as I don't know enough about it. what's funny however is that a google search for "iphone" gives you about 7 pages of results on the Apple product and diddly squat on any else.

There are two other factors which I can see, but which I think haven't necessarily been talked about much:

3) Cisco knows full well (but omits to mention) that Cingular will not allow Apple to "do VoIP" on its cells. An invitation to commit to interoperability between two companies looks on the surface like something both would want. After all, both are respected organisations with lots of R&D skills and a (generally well thought-of) reputation for execution. However, because the business plan could not yet allow that, Apple sensed a dangerous honey trap designed to lure it into an exclusive tie-in on VoIP on the iPhone platform. As we know, Apple partners with who it wants when it wants.

4) As this article http://www.out-law.com/page-7650 [out-law.com] suggests, Cisco may lose its EU trade marks in "iPhone" shortly. Apple may have filed the revocation notice itself. If the filing succeeds, Cisco will almost certainly have to settle.

As you can see, it's a muddy one. I'm not hugely impressed with Cisco's line that "it was never about the money". It's always about money if you think that you're paying more than something is worth. Apple's probably seen that 4) is likely to succeed, and will stall until Cisco is forced back to the table with a lower price. My 0.2$

Hmmm (1)

crayiii (679161) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576458)

How about the ]Phone? Then the next generation could be the ][Phone.

Translation (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576518)

For the last few weeks, we have been in serious discussions with Apple over how the two companies could work together and share the iPhone trademark

Translation: Cisco wanted a bigger slice of Apples pie than they deserve & Apple wasn't having it.
Any dildo with a good battery can come up with a name, it takes style to make it popular, somthing that Cisco lacks.

There's just not enough laywer fun yet. (2, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576582)

C'mon, Apple. Call it the WiiPhone. Or the XPhone360. Or the ApplePhone With Jay Leno. There's lawyers starving on the East Coast who desperately need the work, and having to settle for 5 series insetad of 7 series.

Translation (2, Funny)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576752)

What did Cisco want? '[We] wanted an open approach.'

'What did Cisco want? [We] approached Steve and asked him to open his wallet'

blah blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17576774)

I like how cisco rushed out the iphone a few weeks before CES. Who the fuck associates iPhone with cisco - gimme a break, Cisco has been plotting this day for years I bet. But then again, a bit bullish to move ahead without final confirmation eh? Steve?

Jobs needs taking down a peg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17576842)

and this might do it.

It's worth noting that even the traditionally pro-Apple slashdotters didn't say anything nice about the brand when the phone's closed nature came to light. Some of Jobs' recent decisions seem to be decidedly off the ball ...

Maybe this small wakeup call from Cisco will help him refocus a bit. Apple knows how to turn out excellent stuff. They don't need to adopt a "Do Evil" philosophy just to fuel growth.

Has the rebranding started? (2, Interesting)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 7 years ago | (#17576858)

Is it just me or has the iPhone recently had an Apple logo tacked to the front of it's name like the (apple)TV?

I'm sure this gif [apple.com] has changed since the keynote.
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