updated 05:05 pm EST, Tue December 19, 2006
iPhone Name Available
Linksys' recent announcement of its iPhone voice-over-Internet handsets may not mark an absolute end to Apple's attempts to use the name for its own devices, according to research conducted by ZDNet's Russell Shaw. The journalist notes that of the four currently active "iPhone" trademarks held at the US Patent and Trademark Office, only one -- serial number 75076573 -- has been granted to Linksys' parent company Cisco. The remaining trademarks are owned by other companies and are hotly contested, Shaw adds, with two (78581563 and 78590673) having seen initial refusal by the office and a third by Ocean Telecom (77007808) having yet to receive any formal inspection.
Significantly, only the Ocean Telecom patent addresses music, referring to "MP3 and other digital format audio players" as well as telephone services. Cisco's patent only covers "integrated telephone communication with computerized global information networks," according to the USPTO entry. In tandem with the previous conflicts between other "iPhone" filings, the limited Cisco trademark may not claim absolute authority over Apple's future attempts to use the "iPhone" name for its widely anticipated music phone.