Monday, December 18, 2006

Cisco -- not apple -- announces iPhone branded VoIP phones

Edgadget reports:
We hate to break it to everybody who thought the inevitable Apple phone was going to be called the iPhone, but Cisco, which has apparently had the trademark on the name since the 90s, is launching a line of Linksys "iPhone" VoIP devices (yes, that's right, lower case "i", uppercase "P"). Why wait until now to launch the iPhone name? We can't say for sure, but we imagine Cisco was probably trying to work behind the scenes to sell the rights to the name to Apple, but things didn't pan out -- but since "iPhone" is already a fairly ubiquitous brand without even being launched, hey, why not run with it?
Businessweek reports:
Cisco has owned the trademark on the iPhone brand since 2000, when it acquired Infogear—which had registered the name in 1996. Infogear showed an Internet appliance bearing the iPhone name at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in 1997 (see, 2/3/97, "A New Gig for Your Phone: Net Surfer"). Cisco spent $301 million to acquire Infogear in 2000.

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