Cisco Comments on Apple-Suit Blogstorm

Cisco has made some reasonably sober-minded comments on the blogstorm concerning its suit against Apple over the name “iPhone”. There is clearly fault enough to go around here, with Apple acting precipitously, and Cisco underestimating Apple’s self-confidence. (The former company sounds more than a bit plaintive when it complains that Apple gave it the equivalent of a “We’re too busy” response.)

Then again, while Cisco says it didn’t want money, what it did want isn’t nearly as clear as it is suggesting that it is:

Fundamentally we wanted an open approach. We hoped our products could interoperate in the future. In our view, the network provides the basis to make this happen–it provides the foundation of innovation that allows converged devices to deliver the services that consumers want. Our goal was to take that to the next level by facilitating collaboration with Apple. And we wanted to make sure to differentiate the brands in a way that could work for both companies and not confuse people, since our products combine both web access and voice telephony. That’s it. Openness and clarity.

While this sounds nice, does anyone know what it all really means? A guarantee of a Cisco-friendly protocol and an assurance that Cisco products would get promoted in every Apple iPhone campaign? More? Less? Would Cisco get to vet all Apple iPhone ad campaigns?


  1. Exactly, Paul.
    This wasn’t a simple licensing issue. This was a partnership issue … probably at the point of a fairly large handgun.
    No wonder Apple shied away …
    My take:

  2. while cisco has every right to hold apple up for the trademark, apple should publicly tell cisco to screw off and hold a contest to let customer’s name the phone – tie it in with a sms campaign for cingular(put some pennies in their pockets) 1st prize is a day with steve and an *phone + free service for x years. hokey but apple still picks the name, get customer goodwill and have a laugh at the expense of cisco? afterall besides google, cisco has missed way to many of their 12 step hubris anonymous meetings.

  3. The value of the free publicity generated by the fight, measured according to what equivalent ad time/space would cost will exceed the amount paid by both companies in the legal fight.
    And “iPhone” will be much more of a gilded household name no matter the outcome. They should begin acting like Rosie and the Donald to get a free segment on every celebnewsfotainment show. A food fight would work…

  4. The two comments above got me thinking… a Jobs-hosted version of The Apprentice? Of course NBC wouldn’t be able to offer any previews of upcoming episodes. You’d just have to tune in each week.