This has to do with Apple’s next blockbuster product, which is expected to be a spiffy-looking cell-phone-slash-music player and is rumored to be debuting at next month’s Macworld Expo. You’d think this snazzy gadget would be called the iPhone, right? After all, a lot of Apple’s best-known consumer products -- the iPod, iTunes, iMovie -- all have that wacky “i” in front of it, and myriad breathless bloggers have been calling the upcoming device “iPhone” for more than a year. Heck, some people have even come up with their own designs for what an iPhone should look like. This one, from the iPhone Concept Blog, is our favorite:
Adorable, huh? But whatever the product looks like, Apple is going to need IP lawyers to review the name.
Fellow Silicon Valley tech titan Cisco Systems already owns the iPhone trademark, and has not licensed it to Apple, a Cisco spokeswoman told Legal Pad on Thursday.
And Cisco has no intention of hiding that trademark either. Just this month, the company’s home-router subsidiary Linksys released a whole family of cordless home phones called the iPhone. Linksys’s phones probably won’t compete with Apple’s devices because they don’t run on cellular networks and don’t play MP3s. But they still have a better name than say, Apple-Cell-Phone-Music-Player- Thingamajig.
— Jessie Seyfer