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Cisco, Apple Still Wrestling Over iPhone Trademark

Hold the iPhone. The Cisco versus Apple trademark dispute hasn't been resolved, but negotiations have been extended. Late Thursday Cisco   issued a statement that it is granting Apple's request for more time to reply to the lawsuit filed by the networrking giant.

"Cisco has agreed to give Apple an extension until Wednesday, Feb. 21. Cisco is fully committed to using the extra time to reach a mutually beneficial resolution," the company stated in a media release.

A Cisco spokesman emailed internetnews.com that the brief statement was all the company would have to say about the matter for now, while the two companies engage in "an on-going negotiation" related to the iPhone trademark.

On January 10 Cisco announced it had filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against its Silicon Valley neighbor Apple . The lawsuit seeks to prevent Apple from infringing upon and deliberately copying and using what Cisco said is its registered iPhone trademark. Apple CEO Steve Jobs formally unveiled the iPhone product the day before Cisco's suit. Apple's iPhone is not slated to be available until June.

Cisco said it obtained the iPhone trademark in 2000 after completing the acquisition of Infogear. Infogear previously owned the mark and sold iPhone products for several years. The original Infogear filing for the iPhone trademark dates to March 20, 1996.

Linksys, a division of Cisco, has been shipping a new family of iPhone products since early last year. As recently as December 18, Linksys expanded the iPhone family with additional products.

Apple was not available for comment. Last month, in response to Cisco's lawsuit, an Apple spokeperson, Natalie Kerris, told internetnews.com that Cisco's trademark claim is "silly" because there are several companies using the iPhone name for Voice over IP products. "Cisco's U.S. trademark is tenuous at best [because it's being used by others]. We're the first to use the iPhone name for a cell phone," Kerris said.

Nevertheless, Cisco claimed it was contacted by Apple several times seeking to gain the trademark rights. Cisco spokesman John Noh said the company wasn't seeking money, but wants to negotiate an interoperability agreement with Apple.