Mark Chandler, Cisco's SVP and General Counsel, has some things to say about Cisco's suit involving Apple's infringement of Cisco's iPhone trademark. Chandler says that this suit isn't about money, nor is it about derailing Apple's cool new phone. Rather, it is all about protecting Cisco's intellectual property, something that Steve said Apple would do aggressively with the iPhone (remember when Steve said that Apple has over 200 patents on the iPhone and they plan to enforce them? Kettle? Meet pot.).
Chandler's post also gives us some details about how long Apple and Cisco have been engaged in talks about the iPhone. Cisco has owned the iPhone trademark since 2000 and they have had several conversations with Apple since 2001. The last several months have brought more intense discussions which were active even after Steve had unveiled the iPhone.
What was the stumbling block? Cisco hoped that Apple's iPhone and their iPhone could, at some point, be interoperable (how, we don't know) and Apple didn't seem so keen on that. It'll be interesting to see how this all turns out given the transparency Cisco is approaching this situation with, and Apple's notorious secretive nature. Either way, Chandler's post is well worth a read.