iPhone, youPhone, we all use "iPhone"

Apple and Cisco make a deal (Wall Street Journal subscription-only).

Under the agreement, both companies are free to use the trademark on their products globally and acknowledge the trademark ownership rights that have been granted. Each side will dismiss any pending actions regarding the trademark.

iPhones for everyone!

ADDENDUM: The Macalope would just like to add that this was really a silly thing to worry about. Does anyone really care what the Apple phone was called, as long as it wasn’t called the Apple Portable Communications Device for Business Or Personal Use Brought To You By Cingular, The Greatest Phone Company Ever?

The Macalope never found time to delve into Brier Dudley’s column last week, but one of the standout moments was Dudley coming down with a case of the vapors over Steve Jobs’ lack of concern for U.S. trademark protection.

In just over a month, he’s been flippant about U.S. trademark protection, accounting standards, securities regulators and European antitrust enforcers.

After ignoring Cisco’s trademark on the term “iPhone,” Apple called the resulting lawsuit “silly.”

The Macalope is relieved to see that our great nation survived this month-long crisis.

  • Daniel:

    I wonder what exactly does it mean “…use the name in exchange for exploring wide-ranging “interoperability” between the companies’ products in the areas of security, consumer and business communications.”

  • WH:

    “The sticking point apparently was Cisco’s demand that in order to use the iPhone name, Apple would have to open up its famously closed products to communicate with some of Cisco’s offerings.”

    Wow! This must mean that we can connect to Linksys wireless routers using Apple laptops!

    Uh… wait. I am connected to the Internet through a Linksys wireless router right now…

    What famously closed products may it be then that they mention at the end of that article?

  • Seems like Cisco and Apple should have been working on joint projects before this.

    I for one don’t care what Apple calls their phone. They could have named it “Pete” and it would have been okay. Since the Superbowl ads, Apple could only upset me by naming their phone “Snickers.”

  • Erik:

    WH, I think it’s obvious. Cisco is referring to Apple’s flagship products: the Mac IIci and the Macintosh Portable. Both have serious problems connecting to Cisco products.

  • Matt Green:

    The vibe I got from early reports on the situation seemed to point at “interoperability” being some integration between the Linksys iPhone products and the Apple iPhone. possibly something like an app on the Apple phone that enables it to be a wifi VOIP phone connecting to a Linksys iPhone base.

    The only other thing that sounds remotely reasonable in this regard would be Cisco wanting to stream to/from iTunes with some of their network storage and media extender devices. They’d probably love to be able to offer Airport Express and AppleTV functions from their own (lower cost) products, or have their NAS products officially support iTunes library sharing/syncing with Apple’s hardware.

  • What the device is called actually matters. Would the iPod be as successful if it were called the Apple Music Player? I actually doubt it. I think that it wouldn’t be the icon mp3 player that it is today. The name is important to Apple (and consumers really) because of what it means five to seven years down the line. You can think of the iPod as an example here.

    And the Blattapus rejoiced.

  • Blattapus, Apple would never name something the name the Macalope created or the one you did (Microsoft would). But “iPod” in particular is a totally weird name that means very little – much less than “iPhone” does, certainly. There are probably half a dozen good replacement names.

    But look at the MacBook. Apple had two great names – the PowerBook and the iBook – and they threw them out the window in favor of a more confusing name just to mark the Intel transition – a transition they did not mark in the flagship Mac, the iMac. Why? Possibly just because the name was invented when Steve Jobs wasn’t at Apple.

    Now the company has its customers running around asking “Do you mean the Pro or the non-Pro?” every time someone says they have a MacBook. But, still, it’s not affecting adoption of the line.

    Apple could have just called the iPhone “the Phone”. And everyone on the street would have said “the Apple Phone”. I agree that the iPhone is better, but an iPhone by any other name would still be as awesome.

  • Hans:

    I would just like to point out that I am not a WSJOnline subscriber, but I can see the linked article just fine, thankyouverymuch.

  • Daniel:

    I think that the main reason for Apple to change the name of the PowerBook to MacBook Pro, was mainly to mark the transition to Intel processors (as you say in your comment)… It would be confusing to the consumer to buy a Apple Laptop without a PowerPC processor, but still called PowerBook… The iBook change of name just followed the change of it’s big brother…

  • But the PowerBook predates the PowerPC. The Macalope had a very nice 68LC040-based PowerBook.

    And then why change the iBook and not the iMac?

    Mac Pro. iMac.
    ProBook. iBook.

    Makes more sense to the Macalope, but he doesn’t get paid for these kinds of decisions.

  • Daniel:

    Fair enough lol

  • Bob:

    All the folks up in arms, or getting vapors, or whatever, about Apple “ignoring” trademark law are idiots.

    Apple was not ignoring anything. Apple was CHALLENGING the trademark holder. Trademarks are a use-it-or-lose-it proposition. You can’t register (or acquire) a trademark and do squat with it. If you just squat on it, the trademark can be challenged.

    Apple had a plausible challenge to Cisco, and they believed they could prevail in court. Whether Apple WOULD have prevailed is a different question, but that’s for the courts to decide, not a bunch of lamers trying to criticize Apple or Teh Steve for “ignoring” trademark laws.

    If Cisco had really thought they were invulnerable, they wouldn’t have negotiated a settlement with Apple. The fact they DID negotiate a settlement might be a subtle clue.

  • Hans:

    [quote]Mac Pro. iMac.
    ProBook. iBook.[/quote]
    With all due respect, The Steve has publicly pronounced that they wanted to get the “Mac” into all their computer names. iMac already has it, it needs no change. Neither Powerbook nor iBook had the magical moniker, therefore needed changing.

    As for why the PowerMac needed changing.. I dunno. Maybe just to be consistent with MacBook Pro.

  • karl:

    I have only 3 words to say.
    Amazing, Gorgeous and …


Leave a Comment