The real reason behind that Cisco lawsuit

So Cisco are suing Apple for the use of the iphone name. I heard this numerous times today and my initial reaction was ‘how could Apple have been so dumb?’ But then I noticed that every news report seemed contractually obliged to mention that the iphone ‘which Apple describe as magical’, was a really cool product – and who are this Cisco bunch anyway?

And then idiots like me blog about it – in this day alone Apple have recouped more in advertising and blogosphere chat than any lawsuit will cost them. When you’re Steve Jobs and you have cool looking gadgets, all publicity really is good publicity.

On the subject of the phone itself I’m not convinced by the pricing – it costs an absolute fortune and then they tie you in with only one provider (at the moment in the US that is what is planned anyway). This is Apple’s old closed world view in play again – they may be the last great proprietary company. Ironically, given their foundations, they resemble IBM more every day – I think in many years to come we will view them both as one of the same kind. In much the same way that we no longer view Hard Times as an historical novel from Dickens, but just a Dickens novel, the gap between the two is lost when viewed from a decent time lapse.

2 Comments

  1. The Cisco trademark has not been defended as there are several products on the market already labelled “iphone”. This means, in effect, that it has lapsed, and Apple Inc. knew it would be able to fit the iPhone in with the rest of their iProduct line. Trademarks are different from patents in this respect.

  2. You’re absolutely right Alan – my apologies if I confused trademarks and patents. The point I wanted to make was that it was actually in Apple’s interest to allow the suit to go ahead because it generated an extra two days worth of publicity for the iphone, more or less free. I accept this might be a bit of a cynical point of view 😉

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