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Friday, 16 February 2007 18:22

Cisco bends over backwards and gives Apple further iPhone extension

Cisco has revealed how reluctant it is not to go to court with Apple over the iPhone trademark dispute between the two companies by granting Apple a further extending the deadline for Apple to respond to its trademark infringment lawsuit.

Steve Jobs surprised the world in January at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco when he announced Apple's revolutionary new mobile phone iPod using the name iPhone.

The audience, half filled with media were taken aback by the announcement knowing that Cisco held the rights to the trademark and was using it for one of its Linksys VoIP phone products. Many of us left the hall after the announcement wondering if some secret deal had been reached between Apple and Cisco.

In fact, it turns that discussions were being held between the two companies about Apple's use of the name but no agreement had been reached when Jobs made his announcement on January 9. Cisco subsequently filed a lawsuit on January 10.

Not many believe that Cisco really wants to sue a company which is both a large customer and whose board contains Eric Schmidt, the CEO of an even larger customer. The Linksys iPhone is simply not that big a deal for Cisco.

However, many believe that what Cisco really wants is a compatibility deal between the two companies concerning Apple's iPhone. If so, then Apple is obviously reluctant. Cisco, which originally gave Apple until February 1 to respond to its lawsuit, that was stretched out by a couple of weeks and now has been extended until February 21.

Apple is obviously playing hardball on this issue because it believes it can, while Cisco, whcih really wants Apple as a partner rather than an adversary appears to have painted itself into a corner.

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Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 35 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.

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