Alastair’s Place

Software development, Cocoa, Objective-C, life. Stuff like that.

iPhone and Trademarks

Well the new Apple iPhone is certainly a thing of beauty. Of course, there are lots of rumours flying around about it already, though the release has at least killed off some of the previous rumours about the device by giving us some of the facts.

The fact that it’s running OS X is interesting, to say the least, especially as it seems likely that it’s uses an ARM family CPU. With luck, Apple will let some of us third-party developers write software for it, but we’ll see.

The news that Cisco is suing Apple over the trademark, which the two companies were apparently negotiating, is also interesting. If I had to guess, Apple probably decided to take its chances rather than paying up when it noticed all of these:

It only took me a couple of minutes to find that lot. I’m sure there are many more as well.

The thing about trademarks is that they’re only worth anything if you actually defend them. If I were Apple’s lawyers, I’d have to ask why we should be paying Cisco to license the name when quite clearly there are plenty of other companies who haven’t licensed it from Cisco either, many of whom (unlike Apple) are actually competing with Cisco’s products.

Update: it seems that Cisco may not actually have complied with USPTO regulations and as such the trademark registration may have lapsed. Even if it hasn’t lapsed, the article makes it sound even more likely that Cisco only started using the iPhone name because they knew Apple would want it.