Cisco licenses ‘iOS’ trademark to Apple

Supreme Studio Makeover from Cisco has agreed to license the iOS trademark to Apple for use as the name of Apple’s operating system for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. The license is for use of the trademark only and not for any technology.

IOS is Cisco’s core operating system used for nearly two decades. It is the world’s leading network infrastructure software, delivering business-critical services and hardware platform support.

Currently operating on millions of active systems, ranging from the small home office router to the core systems of the world’s largest service provider networks, Cisco IOS Software is the most widely leveraged network infrastructure software in the world.

Source: Cisco Systems Inc.

MacDailyNews Take: First “iPhone™,” now “iOS™.” Cisco’s built a nice little business licensing trademarks to Apple.


  1. MDN Take: “First “iPhone™,” now “iOS™.” Cisco’s built a nice little business licensing trademarks to Apple.”

    Well if Apple would stop naming their products after items that already exist, then they would not have to get licenses, would they? Since IOS has been around for a very long time, and the iPhone was an actual shipping product, how can you even get snarky about that. Oh wait, I forgot, this is MDN, and anyone making Apple pay for a license is just not playing fair.

  2. @The Other Steve: “The publicity and visibility Cisco will get for THEIR iOS is worth more than the money Apple will pay them.”

    It does not matter. Cisco sells switches and routers, etc. They are a hardware company first. IOS sits on these, as does SANOS, PIXOS, etc. There are multiple OS’s for operating Cisco’s equipment, so it does not matter what the OS is called.

  3. @ drackmere
    Cisco may not be a consumer brand, but any free publicity that isn’t negative is still a good thing. Cisco will benefit.

    As the old saying goes . . . say anything about me that you want, just make sure you spell my name right.

  4. @drackmere

    Hey nice try. Time to head back to the cave troll.

    Let’s see, Cisco re-badges an existing phone at the last second before their trademark expired from inactivity, based on the rumors that Apple wanted to use iPhone for their product.

  5. @The Other Steve

    You may quite possibly be correct. It will not hurt. It definitely shows a willingness to reach out to other companies, even if it is just to offer license terms.

    Sent from my iPhone

  6. @Edster

    So, I am a troll eh? Well oh great one, let me inform you of something so you don’t go all squishy. The IPhone was not a re-brand. It belonged to Linksys before–read that again boyo–before Cisco bought them. This was at least two years before–once again do the re-read–Apple came out with the iPhone. And as for last minute re-branding, do you even know the process involved in re-branding and copyrighting/trademarking? As for calling me a troll? That’s just funnier then hell.

  7. drackmere,

    I don’t know if you are a troll or not but your knowledge of the Cysco / Linksys iPhone licensing issue is a bit off.

    It’s very likely that Cisco would have lost the rights to the iPhone trademark had Apple decided to pursue it in court. It had been completely abandoned fOr years, and they hastily slapped The name onto an existing shipping product at the very last possible moment. But even if Apple would have prevailed in court and lost Cisco the name, it would have taken awhile. It was easier and more beneficial to apple and Cisco to work out mutually amicable terms. Note the iPhone is compatible with some of Cisco’s networking technology.

    The iOS was a smart grab by Apple, it ties in well with their products. Also note that the difference in capitalization will help keep the two products distinct.

  8. By the way I am a huge fan of Apple and their products, but I have no issue with them paying a license to Cisco or Google or Microsoft or any other company. It’s not clear from
    MDN’s snarky take that they do either. Based on many previous takes it doesn’t seem like they have any problem with it at all, they are simply amused.

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