Apple, Cisco Talking Again to Settle 'iPhone' Dispute

Apple and Cisco have agreed to allow more time for Apple to respond to Cisco's claims in the legal dispute over the "iPhone" name, with the aim of reaching agreement on trademark rights and interoperability, reports E-Commerce News.

Cisco has owned the rights to the name since 1995 and lauched a line of VoIP phone products last year under its Linksys brand. Apple says it is confident it can use the name since its iPhone will operate on cellular networks, not in-home WiFi. However, Cisco said either phone could evolve to become more of a direct competitor.

Both companies have been tight-lipped about the proceedings, but apparently the battle over the name has been raging as long as five years.

Apple is likely worried that Cisco can hold out for licensing fees or royalties - that's a problem, since mobile phones are not a high-margin business. And a trial would likely cost both companies a lot of money. A settlement outside of court would therefore make sense.