Apple, Cisco Re-Extend iPhone Negotiations

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Dueling partners Apple and Cisco has given themselves yet another extension on the deadline to reach a resolution in their dispute over use of the iPhone trademark: Apple now has until February 21 to respond to Cisco’s iPhone lawsuit, during which time both companies will continue working to resolve the matter.

Apple announced its Internet-enabled, iPod-capable iPhone at Macworld San Francisco in early January, setting the mobile technology world abuzz. Cisco quickly filed a trademark suit against Apple, claiming the Apple didn’t have permission to use the iPhone name, since Cisco had acquired the trademark with its purchase of Infogear in 2000; Cisco subsidiary Linksys currently markets a series of wireless VoIP-capable handsets under the iPhone name. Earlier this month, Cisco agreed to give Apple more time to respond to the trademark lawsuit as the two companies worked toward a resolution; today’s announcement puts off the litigation a second time as the companies try to work toward a solution.

Cisco has said it wants to prevent Apple from “infringing upon and deliberately copying and using” the iPhone trademark, but the company has also called for “interoperability,” implying it wants some input on Apple’s iPhone capabilities rather than a merely monetary licensing arrangement for use of the trademark.

Apple’s iPhone isn’t scheduled to reach the U.S. market until June, 2007. Apple says the iPhone’s suggested retail price with 4 GB storage capacity will be $499; an 8 GB version will be priced at $599.