Feeds

Cisco's iPhone trademark also under threat in US

Defective Declaration of Use?

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Cisco may lose the rights to the term iPhone in the US, it has emerged. The news follows last week's revelation by OUT-LAW that the company is in danger of losing the European trademark.

Last week, OUT-LAW exposed the legal loophole that could be used to put the trademark rights in Apple's hands. A US lawyer has found a similar loophole there.

Cisco currently holds the trademark rights to the term iPhone, but Apple last week launched its mobile telephone which it called iPhone, even though it had been negotiating under 24 hours earlier with Cisco over a licensing deal. Cisco immediately filed a law suit claiming infringement of its mark.

In Europe, Cisco's hold on the trademark is less secure than was previously thought. OUT-LAW revealed that a revocation application filed by a German law firm could exploit the fact that the mark appears not to have been used in Europe for over five years prior to the 18 December launch of iPhone products.

That application was filed on 18 December, the very day on which Cisco launched its products. Trademark law in Europe states that a mark must be used and, if it lies idle for five years, can be challenged.

A similar law has been reported in the US, where in order to keep a trademark a company has to file a Declaration of Use to the US Patents and Trademarks Office by the sixth anniversary of the registration of the mark.

Cisco did this, but the photographic evidence it presented in its filing was of an existing Cisco product with a sticker saying "iPhone" put on the outside of the packaging. This may not constitute use for the purposes of the law, said an expert.

Jay Behmke, a partner at trademark law specialists CMPR in the US, told Ed Burnette's ZDNet blog in the US that the company's filing may not be good enough.

"It is possible that the Declaration of Use is defective, as there was no continuous use, and the sample that Cisco submitted was for a product not released until seven months later," he said. "The fact that the Declaration of Use was submitted only days before the deadline expires gives me the impression that they were scrambling to get a product to market, and had to file the Declaration before the product was ready."

Cisco spokesman John Noh rebutted the claims. "We maintain that Cisco has taken all actions necessary to satisfy all elements to prove the validity of our trademark under trademark law in the United States and elsewhere where we hold the trademark," he told Burnette's blog.

Copyright © 2007, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.