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MacBytes
Jan 11, 2007, 05:04 PM
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Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: Why Cisco Sued Apple
(http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20070111180426)
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Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
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shamino
Jan 11, 2007, 06:36 PM
He's got a point I hadn't thought of until reading this article.

Cisco has been trying to make inroads into the home. They are already the 800lb gorilla for enterprise networks, service providers and some carriers, but their home products (Linksys) are merely one player among several.

Linksys is a good quality product, but so are D-Link, Netgear, Belkin and a few others. None is dominating that market and none are "cool". Now along comes Apple with two brand new WiFi appliances (Apple TV and iPhone), and Cisco is afraid they're going to take over this market that has so far not been terribly profitable. (Just like the iPod - portable music players were not very hot before its introduction.)

Hence the suit. Cisco doesn't have the reputation, or "cool" factor, or Steve Jobs necessary to make a router or video player become the center of pop culture. If you can't compete with a product, you look to lawyers. And there's that wonderful trademark that they own, and that Apple is trying to use. They may well be hoping to settle, not for money, but for a piece of the action.

It will be interesting to see where this goes. I just hope the settlement doesn't get buried under piles of NDAs - I want to know the details :) .

yoda13
Jan 12, 2007, 01:03 AM
An interesting thought provoking take...one that may well have merit...:cool:

iW00t
Jan 12, 2007, 01:21 AM
I think Cisco got sued because of the whole idea behind a trademark.

The idea is if you fail to protect your own trademark you will lose rights to it. Like for instance Xerox and Kleenex, they are all basically generic terms now. Since Apple jumped the gun and basically "stole" the trademark from Cisco before the agreement is even signed, Cisco is left with no choice but to sue just to show that THEY are the right owners.

emptyCup
Jan 12, 2007, 11:53 AM
The article states that no one mentions that Cisco wants Apple to open their technology to them. I saw this stated as a fact, not a conjecture, a day or two ago. Unfortunately there have been too many articles and I do not remember where I saw it. I also think I read that Apple owns the iPhone trademark in Asia. There is a case to be made that Cisco picked the name precisely because it would be confused with Apple. Whether or not Apple winds up changing the name or giving Cisco money the publicity, and comparison with Cisco's iPhone, will be worth it.

Rodimus Prime
Jan 12, 2007, 01:18 PM
I read an article about that today in the paper and reading though it Cisco has every right to sue apple and apple is the one breaking the trade mark. Cisco Trademark iPhone in 2000 and last year start shipping stuff using iPhone and just recently brought the there iPhone system online under that name. Apple did come to Cisco a few years ago and started talks and those talk broke down just hours before apple announcement.

They are suing because apple has money. So does Cisco. They are suing because apple is breaking a trade mark Cisco has on a very similar product that is an internet phone hence the name iPhone. It not like they where coping apple entire i*blank* idea. But it an internet phone so iPhone applies there.

The article that it link to leaves out all that over information about Cisco is using the name right now and not letting it go to waste
Here is the link to the story where I first read about it and contains a lot more information that the one here is leaving out and shows why apple is in the wrong. Because Cisco was already selling a product under that name before the iPhone and they have it trade market. They are protecting there own interested because if they didn’t they would lose the right of the name and it would be come open to any one.
edit forgot the link
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070110/ap_on_hi_te/cisco_apple

gavd
Jan 12, 2007, 01:23 PM
The article below from the BBC site points out an interesting point under the section 'Revoked Rights' around the fact that a Community Trade Mark which has not been put to 'genuine use' can be revoked. This seems to reference UK Law though so I'm not sure what this means in other countries.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6253067.stm

clevin
Jan 12, 2007, 01:26 PM
the author's idea is just flying too wild,

pth-webdev
Jan 14, 2007, 12:31 PM
Somehow, I allow myself the logical fallacy that the explanation sounds good enough to just assume it is true. Apple will have made it clear in uncertain terms that interoperatability (at least with the phone) is out of the question. (Keep in mind that Apple uses a lot of open standards, so interoperatability will still be possible to a point)

However, when iTV was introduced, there was a clear statement that is was a working name and it was changed to ?TV. Six months from now, I think that we might refer to the new phone in the same way, despite the fact that it was not mentioned. I, myself, would be totally ok with a different name. I would still be calling it by its "working name", though.

As for Cisco, they have a strong name for quality (allthough I have had my problems with their products), but they usually, like so many tech providers, rely on some serial-code to refer to their products. And the first time they come out with a product that has a specific name, they have to take the effort to explain that they were sitting on the trademark all the while, while the whole world was using this name to refer to an upcoming Apple product. Perhaps legally right, but morally wrong. It's weak and lame.

This is an unnecesary confrontation. My personal point of view is that Apple is right to call their bluff. Win or loose, it will probably cost the same as what they would have been willing to pay Cisco. But instead that Cisco comes out as a winner, it will come out as a whiner, whatever the outcome of the law suit.

From what I read, if Cisco wins the lawsuit, it will be by a small margin. As I said, it's a loss either way. Those who want to see Apple get a blow, will interpreted the result that way. Those who want to see Apple survive and grow will stand behind Apple. Nothing really changes. Only a lot of money will be spend that could have been spend better.

grapes911
Jan 14, 2007, 01:49 PM
I think Cisco got sued because of the whole idea behind a trademark.

The idea is if you fail to protect your own trademark you will lose rights to it. Like for instance Xerox and Kleenex, they are all basically generic terms now. Since Apple jumped the gun and basically "stole" the trademark from Cisco before the agreement is even signed, Cisco is left with no choice but to sue just to show that THEY are the right owners.

I agree with everything you say, expect for Xerox and Kleenex being "basically generic terms". While many people use the terms in a generic sense, both companies have fought numerous battles to protected their respective trademarks. As of right now, both companies still exclusively hold those trademarks.

shamino
Jan 15, 2007, 07:14 AM
I agree with everything you say, expect for Xerox and Kleenex being "basically generic terms". While many people use the terms in a generic sense, both companies have fought numerous battles to protected their respective trademarks. As of right now, both companies still exclusively hold those trademarks.
A better example would be "aspirin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspirin#Aspirin_as_genericized_trademark)", which started out as a trademark of the Bayer corporation. The trademark (along with many non-German subsidiaries) was confiscated by Allied nations after World War I. In the US, Sterling Drug bought the rights (including trademark) for aspirin, but they ended up losing the trademark, because everybody else was using the name for their acetylsalicylic acid products.

Swarmlord
Jan 15, 2007, 08:01 AM
It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I'm sure that all the facts from their discussions to avoid this in the first place have not all come out yet.

JimmyC
Jan 18, 2007, 12:36 PM
An interesting way to look at...one that may well be true but I guess we'll have to wait and see. :)



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