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Apple, Cisco Settle iPhone Dispute

Apple Inc. and Cisco agreed to kiss and make up over the use of the iPhone trademark on Wednesday. The deal allows both companies to use the name for their products throughout the world, and the two sides will "explore opportunities for interoperability in the areas of security, and consumer and enterprise communications."

All pending actions regarding the use of the iPhone trademark are being dismissed. Additional terms of the agreement are not being disclosed.

Cisco filed a suit against Apple claiming trademark infringement after the announcement of the iPhone during Macworld Expo 2007 in January. Both companies had been negotiating the use of the trademarked name under Cisco's control prior to Macworld Expo, but Apple broke off the talks shortly before announcing its iPod/cell phone device.

After Cisco filed its case against Apple, both companies returned to the negotiation table in an effort to avoid moving forward into the court room. The talks were extended beyond the original deadline of February 15 to February 21 when an agreement couldn't be reached.

The deal allows both sides to move forward with their respective products - for Apple, its iPod and cell phone device; and for Cisco, its VoIP phone.

So far, many have viewed the iPhone as more of a consumer product. By agreeing to work together, Cisco may bring an added level of credibility to Apple's iPhone in the enterprise market. In return, Cisco gets to keep its trademark.

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