Renowned columnist Bob Cringely, an old favorite of mine, has written a great editorial about iPhone and Apple's struggle to wrestle control of the product name away from Cisco's clutches.
The iPhone is cool; the iPhone is neat; the iPhone is weird in a couple of ways. You know it isn't even close to being the most expensive mobile phone on the market, for all the grousing I've read about the price. My Nokia N.93, which was technically not available yet in the U.S. until recently, but could be freely found in the United States of eBay, costs substantially more at around $800. What's weird about the iPhone is, first, its name, since iPhone is a registered trademark of Cisco Systems, which sells a variety of products under that brand. Apple has been negotiating with Cisco about licensing the iPhone name, so they can hardly claim ignorance of the trademark, yet this week they announced the product without such a license and of course Cisco filed a lawsuit in response. As the trademark holder, Cisco had no choice, because to not file suit would have been to not defend the trademark, perhaps making it more vulnerable to poaching by Apple.