Sunday, January 14, 2007

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, readers!

The forum has taken some time off in order to do work and take care of personal business.

The big news story in the technological world comes from Apple. There's no shock there, as Apple has been making waves in personal devices, like the iPod. In fact, this forum noted that Apple has been protecting its marks feverishly by taking steps to stop any mark that begins with a lower-case "i" followed by a word.

So, the big news story is that Apple has released a cell phone called, of course, the iPhone.

And now the battle begins for the name, iPhone. What's that? You never heard of iPhone before? Cisco owns the mark and has begun to try to enforce its rights in the name, saying that Apple's iPhone mark is in the same goods and services (or a similar set) as Cisco's.

If anyone is curious, the text of the complaint can be found on the Web.

The iPhone name was first registered in 1996 by InfoGear, a maker of Internet appliances. Cisco acquired InfoGear, and the trademark, in 2000.

Apple even tried to negotiate the use of the iPhone mark.

Looking at the mark, Cisco's iPhone represents "computer hardware and software for providing integrated telephone communication with computerized global information networks."

As in most trademark issues, the issue swings upon the difference between the two products. Is Apple's cell phone/music player/video player/internet browser different enough to Cisco's products? It'll be interesting to keep tabs on this one.

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