Friday, January 12, 2007

More iPhone Trademark Information


Pulled from GIZMODO.COM comments:

iPhone's Real Name is Apple iPhone, Apple in the Clear?

"... we may have a reason why Apple is getting away with calling its new cellphone the iPhone and doesn't fear the Cisco lawsuit: the cellphone's real name is the Apple iPhone. Our rationale? What's the name of the streaming media set top box that Apple announced? Apple TV, right? (There's an Apple logo preceding the "TV" part in the name, hence, Apple TV.) Same thing with the Apple iPhone. Any lawyers in the house that can say whether or not this little loophole is valid?"

"Apple might be in the clear regardless; simply because Cisco never protected their IP with 4 other iPhones out there and thus fails to keep their trademark under US law."

"...they sat on the iPhone name for over 6 years before using it. By trademark law, you need to use it within 3 years before it becomes public domain again."

"...the "iName" trademark has become so equated to Apple at this point that Cisco might not be able to show name confusion, or rather, anything they show would show that people are more likely to see the iPhone as being developed by Apple than Cisco, another way you can lose trademark."

"... Cisco was planning on stiffing Apple somehow in this supposed contract, and rather than get raked, it seems Apple's
[legal counsel] feel that they have a chance of getting a better deal by going to court over it, than they would signing the contract. If Apple loses, they change the name and maybe pay a small fine (Trademarks are not like patents, they dont hold nearly as much finacial weight) If Apple wins though they would keep the name and Cisco would look like a douch to their stockholders for not being able to protect a name."

I'm also getting tired of reading this message:

Apple goes after everyone who uses the "iPod" or "Mac" name ... how is this any different?

The word Phone is a VERY generic term ... the words "Mac" and "iPod" are actual, specific words for specific products. When I say the word "Mac" - you know I mean a computer from Apple. When I say the word "iPod" you know I mean Apple's famous MP3 player. When I say the word "Phone" - I mean that generically. When I say the word "iPhone" - most people make the conclusion ... "Oh, that must be an Apple Product, didn't they make the iMac?"

Another interesting note pulled from a DIGG comment:

I suspect that Apple launched it with the name iPhone knowing that by the time they released the product they would have to change the name to Apple Phone, or iPod Phone or something, but the month or two of hype and prelaunch legal battle would be enough to cement the name iPhone into peoples heads as being the "real name" even if they end up calling it something else.

And can anyone tell me how Cisco (and the Linksys brand that actually produces the iPhone VOIP phone) isn't profitting by recognition alone? The more the name is out there, I say the more people will actually buy the Linksys/Cisco phone that need THAT TYPE of phone.

Also: Cisco's patent filings for the "Internet telephone" reference the "iphone" name and attribute it to Cidco (a company now owned by Earthlink); the fact that the filing reads with the following language is even less encouraging. "Also known [to Cisco at the time of filing the patent] is a dedicated 'Web phone,' such as the iphone, manufactured by Cidco..." So ... does this fall under prior art?

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