Apple and Cisco settle iPhone lawsuit

Apple and Cisco Systems have settled the trademark violation lawsuits which were threatening to disrupt Apple's plans to launch the much-mooted iPhone device later this year. The truce comes after the two companies agreed that they could both sell products named iPhone.

The deal, which ends a month of hostile litigation, also included clauses which tie the two firms together on joint issues including device security as well as consumer and business communications. No other details of the arrangement were released.

When Apple debuted its leviathan iPhone device , a supergadget with built in mobile phone, iPod and video player capabilities at Macworld in January, Cisco immediately cried foul . It said its Linksys brand had been selling products with iPhone stickers on since 2006, when it acquired the trademark by default in 2000 after purchasing Infogear. Infogear had been shipping internet screenphones named iPhone since 1997.

Cisco said that Apple's iPhone was a "wilful and malicious" infringement on its iPhone VoIP range and demanded that Apple change the name of its forthcoming hyper phone.

"Cisco entered into negotiations with Apple in good faith after Apple repeatedly asked permission to use Cisco's iPhone name", said Mark Chandler at Cisco, as the lawsuit was being filed.

Apple was courting controversy as soon as it began plotting to release a product under a name it did not own. But it has not been made clear yet whether Cisco was given any direct financial incentive to agree with the joint naming deal.

James Rivington

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