It's the old schoolyard chant: "Fight! Fight!"
After a day of dancing around the issue of the iPhone trademark, Cisco finally let go Wednesday, filing a lawsuit against Apple and accusing the computer maker of trying to use a front company to acquire the rights when negotiations with Cisco took a wrong turn.
While Apple has already won the hearts and minds of many consumers, Cisco definitely seems ready to take it on in the PR war. In a blog posting, Cisco general counsel Mark Chandler stated that "this is not a suit against Apple's innovation, their modern design, or their cool phone. It is not a suit about money or royalties. This is a suit about trademark infringement."
Chandler goes on to chide Apple for its inability to play well with others. "This lawsuit is about Cisco's obligation to protect its trademark in the face of a willful violation. Our goal was collaboration. The action we have taken today is about not using people's property without permission," he wrote.
Blog community response:
"The interesting thing is this: Cisco recognizes that the trademark case is as much (or more) about PR than it is about the law. So what have they done? They've taken their complaint public, where the tech bloggers (and the trade press) can see it. Rather than simply deploying lawyers and letting the case bog down for years, they've pulled out the soapbox as a way of creating a PR event - one that could easily go negative for Apple."
--Smalltalk Tidbits, Industry Rants
"Apple could, however, be sensitive right now due to the backdated options thing. If that's the case, they might consider 1. dropping the iPhone name to deprive this lawsuit of its power to generate negative publicity or 2. collaborating with Cisco. My money's on number one."
--IP & Democracy
"Why didn't Apple work out the legalities of using Cisco's iPhone trademark before going through the Macworld song and dance? Very good question. But one that could be summed up in one word: Arrogance."
--Between the Lines