There was a lot of talk when Linksys released some new IP phone models recently with the iPhone name about how this might impact the long-rumored Apple phone. (I reviewed one of the those iPhones last month). When Steve announced the iPhone yesterday, pretty much everyone assumed a deal had been made with Cisco (who owns Linksys) for the name. Then we saw a non-committal press release from Cisco, which made it sound like a deal was in the works but not yet signed, sealed and delivered.
Now news is hitting the wires that Cisco has filed a trademark infringement suit against Apple over the iPhone name. This could get interesting. I suspect the price Apple is surely going to have to pay for those six letters just got a lot higher.
When I reviewed the Linksys iPhone back in December I asked my contact at Cisco about the name and was told that Cisco acquired Infogear Technology Corporation in 2000, and Infogear had trademarked “iPhone” all the way back in 1996. I was also told that the CIT200 was the first Linksys-branded product in the iPhone family, which has been shipping since October of 2005.