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SAN FRANCISCO - Apple Inc.'s much-ballyhooed iPhone was unveiled this week after 30 months and millions of dollars in top-secret development. But the sleek new iPod-cellular phone combination could wind up costing the company a lot more.

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Cisco Systems Inc., the world's largest networking equipment maker, sued Apple in San Francisco federal court on Wednesday, claiming that Apple's iPhone violates its trademark.

Cisco is asking the court to forbid Apple from using the name "iPhone," which Cisco has held a trademark on since 2000 and used to brand a line of its own Internet-enabled phones that began shipping last spring and officially launched three weeks ago.

Cisco said Apple approached the company several years ago seeking to use the name, and the two Silicon Valley tech giants have been negotiating ever since to hammer out a licensing agreement.

But Cisco said the talks broke down just hours before Apple's chief executive,        Steve Jobs, took to the stage Tuesday at the annual Macworld Conference and Expo to introduce the multimedia device.

Apple's iPhone is a touch-screen-controlled cell phone device that plays music, surfs the Web and delivers voicemail and e-mail. The product still needs FCC approval.

While Jobs was holding court in front of thousands of Apple devotees, Cisco had given Apple lawyers until the end of the business day to finalize the contract.

The deadline came and went, and Cisco filed the lawsuit Wednesday seeking injunctive relief to prevent Apple from copying Cisco's iPhone trademark.

"We certainly expected that since they had gone ahead and announced a product without receiving permission to use the brand, that meant that the negotiation was concluded," said Mark Chandler, Cisco senior vice president and general counsel.

Apple argues it's entitled to use the name iPhone because the products are materially different.

Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris called Cisco's lawsuit "silly" and said there are already several other companies using the name iPhone for products like Cisco's that use the increasingly popular Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP.

"We believe that Cisco's U.S. trademark registration is tenuous at best," she said. "Apple's the first company to use the iPhone name for a cell phone. And if Cisco wants to challenge us on it, we're very confident we will prevail."

Cisco executives argue that, despite the current dissimilarities between the Cisco and Apple iPhone, both phones could take on new features or work on different networks than they do today.

Erik Suppiger, networking specialist at Pacific Growth Equities, said that argument is sound in an era of "convergence," when the Internet is increasingly used as a telephone network.

"I'd envision that Cisco would be inclined to add cellular functionality to its iPhone. I would not be surprised to see them add additional memory for supporting whatever media functions you might want, either they'd be logical extensions," Suppiger said. "The phones may not overlap right now, but they would over the foreseeable future."

The lawsuit may be more than just a semantic scuffle.

Cisco has been on an aggressive acquisition binge in the past year, and CEO John Chambers has been ambitious about building the company's brand name and producing more consumer electronics not just the esoteric networking gear that chief information officers purchased at great expense.

The lawsuit could be an attempt to embroil Apple into a legal morass because Cisco is set on developing a competing product, said Eve Griliches, program manager at Framingham, Mass.-based research firm IDC.

"Cisco is a very, very smart company, and anything they can do to slow Apple out of the gate might give them an advantage at the negotiating table," Griliches said. "Chances are both companies knew this lawsuit was going to happen the real question is, what's really behind it?"

But not everyone agrees that the lawsuit is strategic or even productive for Cisco, the most richly valued company in Silicon Valley with a market capitalization of more than $174 billion.

"Bottom line is that you'd think Cisco had a better use of its time and money than suing Apple over a word," said Samuel Wilson, analyst at JMP Securities.

Before the lawsuit was announced, Apple's shares closed up $4.43 to $97 during regular trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Apple shares fell 40 cents to $96.60 in after-hours trading.

Cisco's shares closed up 21 cents to $28.68 on the Nasdaq Stock Market. In after-hours trading, Cisco shares gained 9 cents to $28.77.


AP Business Writer Rachel Konrad contributed to this report.

General Off-Topic Board / FUNNY WARNING LABEL thread - Read article first
« on: January 10, 2007, 06:25:32 AM »
Read this, then post a funny warning label...

Past due.

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Considering that the median U.S. wage earner makes about $34,000 a year, it's hard to muster a lot of sympathy for the financial plight of federal judges, who earn only $165,200 a year.

Yet it's also hard to argue that the judges don't deserve a raise.

Federal judges haven't had a significant pay hike since 1989. Their salaries go up only when members of Congress grant themselves raises; in five of the last 13 years, they haven't even gotten a cost-of-living adjustment. Federal judges now earn about half of what top law school deans make and about the same as first-year associates at the leading law firms.

In his annual report on the state of the judiciary, released last week, Chief Justice John Roberts lays out arguments for a raise and notes that some judges are leaving the bench because of stagnant pay. J. Michael Luttig, a highly regarded former appeals court judge who was on        President Bush's short list for the Supreme Court, cited the need to pay his children's college tuition as one factor in his decision to become general counsel of Boeing.

The chief justice weakens his case, however, with an injudicious comment that the pay imbalance amounts to a "constitutional crisis" that "threatens to undermine the strength and independence of the federal judiciary."

Please. Federal judges enjoy tremendous perks and power. They have lifetime job security and receive generous vacation time and full-salary pensions at age 65 if they've served 15 years. Nor are they fleeing the bench in droves. Of the 866 federal judges and justices, only about 1% quit each year. And there's no shortage of top attorneys willing to take big pay cuts for the privilege of becoming a judge.

If a modest pay raise would restore equity and help keep top jurists on the bench, we're all for it. We also don't think judges' pay should be held hostage to congressional egos and pay-raise politics. But the case for an increase is strong enough that hyperbole is unnecessary and unproductive.

Wacky warnings.

Do consumers really need to be warned in writing that they shouldn't place fellow human beings in washing machines? Or dry their cellphones in microwave ovens? Or use an open flame to check the fuel level on power boats and jet skis?

Apparently the legal departments of several manufacturers think so, because those admonitions are displayed on product labels.

The caution against rinsing and spinning people - even on the gentle cycle - won top prize last week in the 10th annual Wacky Warning Label contest sponsored by Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch, a tort reform group.

Previous winners of honorable mention awards include a label on a kitchen knife that warns, "Never try to catch a falling knife," one on bobcat urine used to keep rodents away from garden plants that says, "Not fit for human consumption," and a label on a baby stroller warning, "Remove child before folding."

The labels are a reflection of our lawsuit-plagued times. An unpredictable legal system, where judges sometimes allow frivolous lawsuits to move forward and juries periodically award absurdly generous windfalls to plaintiffs and personal-injury lawyers, prompts companies to plaster these defensively silly labels on their products.

Some of the labels are amusing, but their proliferation carries a serious downside. Labels that belabor the obvious can do real harm.

Warning against everything means warning against nothing. How likely is a consumer to read warnings or take them seriously after being told that a fishing lure with a three-pronged hook is "harmful if swallowed?"

The wacky label contest underscores the need for the legal system to reject lawsuits where the plaintiffs are victims of nothing more than their own stupidity. Otherwise, every banana peel might one day carry a sticker that says, "Do not discard on stairway."

Law School Admissions / San Diego?
« on: December 22, 2006, 08:33:28 AM »
how much is the app fee?  It doesn't say on LSAC

So lets suppose that you are going out with someone for the past 2-3 years and you would be happy to marry him if he asked. 

One day he finally proposes to you, gets down on one knee opens the ring case to present you the ring.....

What is the smallest carat solitaire diamond that you would be happy with?

I know some of you feel like any size would be good because you love him... But really, there has to be a size that you would just be totally embarrassed to show your friends when they ask to see the ring.. 

Choosing the Right Law School / Medians for schools..
« on: December 15, 2006, 12:55:02 PM »
Does anyone know where you can get old school data for law schools.

Like what were the medians for LSAT and GPA for law schools in the year 1999 or 2000?

Law School Admissions / Indiana Univeristy - Indianapolis applicants
« on: December 15, 2006, 07:20:56 AM »
Is the greatest!  ;D

Law School Admissions / Third letter of Rec?
« on: December 12, 2006, 07:29:17 AM »
So one of my schools requires a third LOR for the application to be complete.  I did not know this ahead of time, and they are one of my target schools.  I have already sent them an academic and a work LOR. 

Would it be ok for me to ask say, my girlfriend or a buddy of mine to write the letter.  I know it won't be an unbiased LOR, but are any LORs unbiased really?

I just want to get the letter written quick and sent in to the school before the rush.. What do you think?

Law School Admissions / Loyola Chicago apps
« on: December 10, 2006, 07:55:00 PM »
So on the Loyola Chicago app, they pose a question that asks about moving traffic violations.  It reads like this...

Have you ever been arrested for, convicted of, plead guilty to, fined for, or sanctioned in any way for the commission of any traffic violations.  As used herein, a conviction includes a plea of guilty of nolo contendere (no contest) or a verdict finding of guilt, regardless of whether a sentence or judgement has been witheld, suspended, or expunged, or the record sealed or vacated, regardless of whether you have been told that you need not disclose any such instance.

Does this mean you must list all of the traffic tickets that you have had in your entire life?  What if you don't remember all of them, or their specifics? 

And why does it matter if you have had traffic tickets in the past.. sheesh..

Law School Admissions / T2--->T4 Status checkers
« on: December 07, 2006, 09:17:43 AM »
Does anyone know of T2 through T4 schools that have status checkers on their websites?  All of the previous posts have been about the top schools with status checkers.

Tell me if a school has one and post the link to it.  Then I will take the post and put it in a master list. 

1. Seattle
2. Baltimore
3. Utah
4. FSU
5. Southwestern
6. Loyola
7 houston
8. mercer
9. georgia state
10 ?

Law School Admissions / Seattle University applicants..
« on: December 06, 2006, 09:22:47 AM »
I was looking at the Seattle app the other day and noticed that they have a supplemental form to submit on top of the application on LSAC.  The supplemental form turns out to be an "evaluator" form.  Kinda like a recommendation. 

I was wondering, if you have already asked your recommenders to fill out and submit thier recommendations, and they have already done this.  Then does this "evaluator" form still apply?  Do you still need to have someone fill it out and send it in also?

I don't really have a lot of people to ask, except for friends or family.  I would ask my boss but I would like to hold off telling my company that I am applying.

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