Cisco files lawsuit against Apple on iPhone brand

Cisco Systems sued Apple in federal court, saying the computer maker's new iPhone violates its trademark, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said the lawsuit, filed in US District Court for the Northern District of California, came just a day after Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the Apple iPhone in dramatic fashion at a trade show in San Francisco.

But even while Jobs was trumpeting the product during his keynote address to Apple faithful, the matter of the product's naming had not been resolved behind the scenes between two of the biggest names in Silicon Valley, the report said.

Cisco, the world's largest network-equipment maker, has owned the trademark on the name 'iPhone' since 2000, when it acquired InfoGear Technology, which originally registered the name, the report said.

And three weeks ago, Cisco's Linksys division put the trademark to use, releasing an Internet phone called 'iPhone' that uses VoIP, the report said.

Jobs on Tuesday unveiled Apple's own iPhone, a 'game-changing' touch-screen-controlled cell phone device that plays music, surfs the Web and delivers voicemail and email.

Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris said she could not immediately comment on the lawsuit, the report said.

Cisco said it had been negotiating for several years with Apple over a licensing agreement, but that Apple lawyers had not signed and returned the final contract.