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Optical/IP

iPhone Wars

2:00 PM -- While rumors were flying about the Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone, which got announced yesterday, several people pointed out that the name is already in use. Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) got there first, selling its own iPhone VOIP device. Apple didn't change the name, as many assumed it would, so presumably there's an agreement with Cisco buried behind the Jobsian song and dance.

Cisco's only comment is to point to its official corporate blog -- a term that still sounds like an oxymoron to me -- which said yesterday:

    Given Apple’s numerous requests for permissions 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.
Somehow, this brings to mind the tussle with The Beatles, who had already used "Apple" for their own record label and a vague media company. The eventual settlement had Apple Computer keeping the rights to the name and promising not to get into the music business. Then Apple got into the music business. Then... actually I stopped caring long before that point (I think the Beatles eventually lost), but you get the idea. Cisco might be better off just changing the name of its iPhone.

— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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