Apple licenses iOS trademark from Cisco; purchases FaceTime trademark flat out

Tue, Jun 8, 2010

Legal, News

Apple yesterday changed the name of its iPhone OS to iOS to better represent the wide variety of devices ithe OS is capable of running on. The iOS trademark, however, is already owned by Cisco and refers to the software used in most of Cisco’s routers and switches (Internetwork Operating System). Is anyone else experiencing Deja Vu?

So did Apple go all gangsta’ on Cisco once again and assume it would work out the legal details later? Nope, and it’s nice to see Apple learning a lesson or two. This time around, Apple struck a deal with Cisco to license the “iOS” trademark to Apple.

Cisco writes:

Cisco has agreed to license the iOS trademark to Apple for use as the name of Apple’s operating system for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.  The license is for use of the trademark only and not for any technology.

Meanwhile, Apple also paid to acquire the FaceTime trademark from an Internet security company of the same name. Announcing the change, FaceTime writes:

Our agreement with Apple to transfer the FaceTime trademark to them comes as we are rebranding our company to better reflect our capabilities. We will be announcing a new name in the coming months.

Remember that Cisco also owned the iPhone trademark back when Apple introduced the original iPhone back in 2007. After a bit of legal back and forth, the two companies eventually reached a settlement agreement whereby Apple was afforded the right to use the iPhone moniker and wherein the two companies agreed to explore “interoperability” between each company’s products. Seeing as how that agreement to synergize, so to speak, hasn’t born any discernible fruit in the last 3 years, it’s cnice to see Cisco actually getting a licensing agreement out of this one.


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