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iPhone iFun

Phil Harvey
2/26/2007

1:45 PM -- The word "iPhone" is not new, but the Cisco-Apple fight made me wonder who has looked at trademarking the term in recent years -- and if there are other riffs on the theme. Here's what I found:

  • Teledex, a San Jose, Calif., company that sells phones to hotels, has asked to trademark the phrase "iPhone" to describe a "Telephone that integrates a display and interactive abilities with an IP-based network to deliver both voice communication and graphic-based content and services to hotel guestrooms."
  • If you're looking for IPHONE-related "clothing, footwear, and headwear", you should see a company called Ocean Telecom Services, LLC. The same company has also applied to trademark the word "iPhone," as a term to describe "handheld and mobile digital electronic devices for the sending and receiving of telephone calls, faxes, electronic mail, and other digital data." Cisco alleges in its lawsuit that Apple is the company behind Ocean Telecom Services and its efforts to nab a trademark designation. That doesn't sound far-fetched, given that Ocean Telecom Services was incorporated on Sept. 22, 2006, and appears to be a phantom company, with no listed directors or phone numbers in any major corporate directory or business database.
  • Cisco owns the "iPhone" trademark, but the term never originated at Cisco. Cisco only got the mark when it bought Internet appliance maker InfoGear Technology back in 2000.
  • A U.K. firm abandoned the trademark "iFone" back in 2003, but a company operating under the name iFone can be found in Florida.
  • Teltronics Inc. has a product called the Vision I-Phone, but its trademark paperwork specifies that "NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE 'I-PHONE' APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN." In capital letters, too. So they really mean it.
  • A sort-of Skype competitor has the name iPhone2, which makes me wonder if Apple2 or Cisco2 will sue, too.
  • The Website iPhone.com is actually owned and run by Nuvio Corp. , a hosted VOIP services company.
  • One dead trademark of note was for McCurdy Inc.'s Eyephones, a term invented to describe a "Sound Synchronous Optical Viewer." I think I got an Eyephone for Christmas one year. Might've been an accessory for my Malibu Ken doll. Thankfully, I can't recall.


— Phil Harvey, iEditor, Light Reading

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