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US giants resolve iPhone row

US giants Apple and Cisco Systems have settled their legal wrangling over the ‘iPhone’ trademark in an agreement that will allow both companies to use the disputed branding on their products.

US giants Apple and Cisco Systems have settled their legal wrangling over the ‘iPhone’ trademark in an agreement that will allow both companies to use the disputed branding on their products. In a joint-statement the pair confirmed: “Under the agreement, both companies are free to use the “iPhone” trademark on their products throughout the world. Both companies acknowledge the trademark ownership rights that have been granted and each side will dismiss any pending actions regarding the trademark.”

The statement also disclosed that both companies were considering future joint-ventures. “In addition, Cisco and Apple will explore opportunities for interoperability in the areas of security, consumer and enterprise solutions,” the statement read. The statement failed to specify how they intend to pursue the proposed operations.

The two companies declined to comment on whether or not there was a financial settlement involved in the final agreement.

Cisco Systems filed a legal action against Apple after the iPhone was unveiled to the media at this year’s MacWorld expo in San Francisco. The company claimed that Apple’s multimedia handset infringed on its copyright after it obtained the ‘iPhone’ trademark in 2000 with the acquisition Infogear. Cisco had started to use the iPhone trademark in 2006 through its home networking division Linksys.

However, the two companies entered into negotiations to resolve the issue in late January, culminating in last month’s statement.

In separate developments, a study conducted by US-based market research firm Compete suggested that over 42% of those polled felt that the Apple iPhone’s pricetag of US$500 was far too high. The report also stated that only one percent of those interested in purchasing an iPhone were prepared to meet Apple’s initial recommended retail price.

However, industry pundits have pointed out that Apple has a history of selling products well below its initial cost predictions.

The Apple TV was originally penned in for a US$399 retail price when its was launched alongside the iPhone at MacWorld 2007. However recent media reports suggest that the product will retail for US$299 when it is made available to consumers in mid-March.

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