Jim Cramer: Why Cisco really sued Apple

Apple Store“Stop listening to all the claptrap about Apple and Cisco and what Cisco really wants: monetary damages, stopping the iPhone and the like,” jim Cramer writes for RealMoney.

Cramer writes, “Cisco doesn’t want royalties on iPhone. Cisco could care less about keeping the name iPhone. These theories are all wrong. Cisco’s trying to get cool. It isn’t cool now.”

Cramer writes, “Here’s the deal: I believe that what Cisco really wants is to have Apple open up the Apple TV device — the just-announced set-top box that streams video from your PC to your TV — and other products for Cisco to interface with.”

Full article here.

Related articles:
Cisco General Counsel explains ‘iPhone’ lawsuit; Cicso wanted interoperability
with Apple iPhone
– January 11, 2007
Apple calls Cisco’s ‘iPhone’ trademark lawsuit ‘silly,’ says ‘very confident we’ll prevail’ – January 11, 2007
Cisco sues Apple for ‘iPhone’ trademark infringement – January 10, 2007
The only thing really wrong with Apple’s iPhone is its name – January 09, 2007
Briefly: Apple changes corporate name; Cisco expects agreement on ‘iPhone’ trademark today – January 09, 2007
Apple debuts iPhone: touchscreen mobile phone + widescreen iPod + Internet communicator – January 09, 2007


  1. Strange how Cisco inadvertently seeks to aid an enemy. The death of the iPhone name for Apple would benefit arch-nemesis Motorola more than anything else. Ed Zander probably had a woody when he first heard about the lawsuit.

  2. Cisco will loose. There are already devices on the market called “iPhone” and they are not made by Cisco/Linksys. Search Amazon to see a few of them. Cisco has not defended against this. Also, it can easily be demonstrated that the general public is confused by the iPhone moniker because they think it’s the Apple device. Before Apple even announced a cell phone everyone was calling it the iPhone. That’s a significant argument to make, and added with Cisco’s failure to aggressively defend the iPhone trademark againt similar devices, Apple is telling Cisco to basically F-off we’ll see you in court.

    Cramer offers an interesting possibility, but it’s clear that Apple doesn’t want to do that. Why should they? Cisco purchased Linksys for an angle into the home market and Apple is going to kill them in that space. Apple could name their device anything but why should they? Everyone was already calling it an iPhone. I’m sure Apple is getting legal advice that is confident of success against a lawsuit from Cisco.

  3. So wait a minute, will Apple TV not work with a Linksys 802.11n router? I was planning on getting a new AE with the a, the b,the g,the n, and the hey hey hey anyway, but Apple TV only works with an Apple AE box? Hmmm…

  4. Guys thought it all wrong, Cisco and Apple has good relations, instead of putting advertising money, pay the lawyers and Huge Publicity. Better than any advertisement, you wouldn’t think Steve already has this resolved don’t you to actually use the “iPhone” name.

  5. I am with Cramer. Just because Cisco’s filing is probably 100+ pages and it says they are suing Apple for the iPhone in black and white means nothing. There could be some deeper meaning to the entire document. Maybe Cisco is sayiing that Jobs is a Christ figure. Maybe Jobs has to take the iPhone and throw it into a large volcano for all of humanity. Maybe they want Jobs to be more sensitive to his inner child

    Maybe……Cramer is an idiot.

    My very first post about the iPhone, on this site, during the keynote was that…wait for it…lawyers were going to engage in hand-to-hand combat over the iPhone name. DUH! Cisco got a whiff last year of Apple getting ready to announce the Apple iPhone and Cisco released their product in December thus exercising their copyrighted name.

    I do not know if Cisco can defend the name. Cramer’s analysis is way off the mark. Cisco has been prepping for this fight since December (as far as we consumers know).

    Just my $0.02

  6. To Ray:

    Just because a filing is 100+ pages doesn’t mean it actually says anything.

    I actually read their filing online, and it is laughably self-serving. More revealing is the blog post by the general counsel in which he says that Cisco’s asking price wasn’t money but “openness” and interoperability.

    Also, let’s not forget what Cisco’s CEO was doing at CES on the same day as Stevenote — delivering an all-but-ignored address on … wait for it … The Connected Life.

    Cisco has the right to protect its trademarks, and if I were in their shoes, I’d probably do the same thing. But they’re not in it to protect the sacred principle of intellectual property rights.

    They’re just looking for some of Apple’s stardust for their own moribund brand.

  7. Well, do a ‘whois’ in terminal and find that
    The Internet Phone Company, LLC
    3856 Willowview Court
    Santa Rosa, California 95403
    United States

    Registered through: GoDaddy.com, Inc. (http://www.godaddy.com)
    Domain Name: IPHONE.COM
    Created on: 24-Aug-95
    Expires on: 22-Aug-08
    Last Updated on: 16-Jul-06
    has had the domain name iphoone.com since Aug 1995!

    Cisco is gonna have a hard time with that trademark…

  8. Cisco have something of value to Apple – a name, that’s all. And Cisco are trying to leverage that to gain something of value to them – entree, via Apple, into the cellphone market. Not a bad strategy if you can get away with it. But they won’t. First, Apple don’t need the iPhone name so much that they would willingly give Cisco access to anything.

    Cisco have overplayed their hand. Apple can string this out until June and then just release it with a different name. Who will care? My guess is that Cisco will blink first – they need the iPhone name even less than Apple, and it will become worthless if Apple chooses a different name so they will have to rework their strategy and aim for something more reasonable.

    My guess is that Apple will just use a different name unless their lawyers tell them that Cisco’s trademark is sufficiently wobbly that they can challenge it.

    If nothing else, it will keep the product in the news until June!

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