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From iPhone to iOS – Apple nabs (another) Cisco handle

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Steve Jobs has borrowed another iName from Cisco. But this time, he got permission.

Today, at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco, Jobs announced that the Cupertino cult had renamed the iPhone OS. From here on out, it will be known as, yes, iOS. The mobile operating system, you see, also runs on the iPod touch and the iPad, and as the cult indoctrinates new members, Jobs doesn't want to confuse them.

The iOS name is already taken by Cisco — it has a trademark on the acronym IOS, short for its Internetwork Operating System — but Apple doesn't like trademarks interfering with its mission to put an "i" in front of whatever it feels like. In 2007, Cisco sued Apple over the iPhone name, which the networking kit king has previously trademarked for use with IP telephones, and in the wake of the iPad's announcement, Fujitsu pointed out that it own the rights to this name, which continues to offend women across the globe – not to mention men who sympathize with women.

Apple later settled with Cisco over the iPhone name, and it eventually reached an agreement with Fujisu over iPad. But with iOS, Apple has actually secured approval before rolling out the new moniker. "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," reads a statement from Cisco. "The license is for use of the trademark only and not for any technology.”

Apple has also struck a deal with a 10-year old Silicon Valley company to slap the name FaceTime on the iPhone video conferencing service. In this case, instant messaging outfit Facetime has given up its name entirely, transferring its trademark to Apple. "Our agreement with Apple to transfer the FaceTime trademark to them comes as we are rebranding our company to better reflect our capabilities," Facetime said in a statement of its own. "We will be announcing a new name in the coming."

The exception that proves the rule? Before its debut, Apple TV was codenamed iTV. One might suggest that Steve Jobs is no match for British broadcasters. ®

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