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Tuesday, January 09, 2007, 05:00 pm PT (08:00 pm ET)

Macworld: Apple expected to keep iPhone name despite Cisco trademark

Despite a trademark conflict with Cisco, Apple is in negotiations to keep the iPhone name for its newly-announcd communications device, according to to a published report.

Following the introduction of the Apple iPhone on Tuesday, Cisco today was quick to dispel worries that its recently launched VoIP phone of the same name would trigger a prolonged trademark dispute.

Speaking to the financial news outlet MarketWatch, the networking giant said on Tuesday that it had conducted "extensive discussions" with Apple to come to a mutual agreement on the use of the iPhone moniker. Progress is reportedly swift and the deal may be completed as of today.

"We expect to receive a signed agreement [Tuesday]," a Cisco representative said.

Terms of the agreement were not revealed in the statement, which confirms Apple's awareness of the now ten year old trademark property in advance of today's Macworld San Francisco keynote by Apple chief executive Steve Jobs.

Differences in the nature of the devices may play a part in the settlement. While Cisco's Linksys-branded iPhone taps into online voice services such as Skype or Yahoo! Messenger for Internet-based calling, the Apple handset is more conventional and provides voice calling only through cellular networks, reserving its EDGE and Wi-Fi connections for visual tasks such as e-mail and web browsing.

Apple had not returned a request for comments on the negotiations as of Tuesday afternoon, MarketWatch said.