Animation by John Liebler/XVIVO.
Copyrighted by Harvard University.
Apparently "iPhone" has been a registered trademark owned by Cisco. The negotiation of sharing the trademark between Cisco and Apple was still going, but Apply launched iPhone anyway despite the potential lawsuit. Why?
There was absolutely going to be a lawsuit against Apple over the trademark iPhone (and that's what Cisco did on Wednesday), giving the fact of infringement and that Apple is a rich and wellkown corporation (just like Cisco itself) therefore very worth suing.
I don't know if Cisco had known that Apple was going to launch before they reached an agreement on the trademark. In either way, both the launch and the lawsuit were highly strategic. It's a game about marketing share gaining and profit making.
How many people knew about Cisco's iPhone before yesterday? I didn't, and I was so fascinated by the touch pad and auto-sensing things of Apple's iPhone (yeah I want one too). Whoever talks to me about "iPhone" after the launch, I will link it to Apple's new product without blinking. Apple of course knew about this and had full confidence that they will be the name owner that recognized and accepted by ordinary consumers.
Lawsuits, even motions for injunction relief, take time to come to a result. By the time there's anything comes out of the lawsuit, Apple will already have gained its reputation on this fancy innovative little gadget, and the trademark iPhone will be registered in people's heads.
What is Cisco thinking? I think they are hoping to reopen the negotiation and have a (much) better deal with Apple. The infringement of trademark is an obvious fact, Cisco will probably win with this lawsuit. Apple definitely knows about that they're being bully and the probability of losing the case. With a good negotiation team, Cisco may very well get more out of Apple's pocket while there's a lawsuit going on on the side.
Of course all of those above is just in my little knowledge-limited head. We will see how these two big players play. At the same time, can anyone give me an iPhone? maybe for my birthday? Have you seen how it flips through album images when choosing a song???