Hopefully a fun trademark battle to watch

The SVP/General Counsel for Cisco blogged about the iPhone trademark. I love the fact that he brought up this point:

How would Apple react if someone launched a product called iPod but claimed it was ok to use the name because it used a different video format? Would that be ok? We know the answer – Apple is a very aggressive enforcer of their trademark rights. And that needs to be a two-way street.

Apple has been famously protective of their trademarks, which brings a sense of hypocracy to the whole issue. Leo Laporte often uses the term “Netcast” instead of “Podcast” for fear that Apple will one day try to go after that word.

It seems like most of the “experts” think this will get settled quickly, and out of court. Although then I read this from an Apple spokeswoman:

“There are already several companies using the iPhone name for VoIP (voice over IP) products,” Kerris said. “We’re the first company ever to use iPhone for a cell phone. If Cisco wants to challenge us on it, we’re confident we’ll prevail.”

That sounds like a fight to me. I hope it’s entertaining.