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Apple and Cisco return to the bargaining table

Apple and Cisco said Thursday negotiations over a controversial trademark for the term "iPhone" had resumed, and that Apple has been granted more time to respond to Cisco's formal complaint.

"Apple and Cisco have agreed to extend the time for Apple to respond to the lawsuit to allow for discussions between the companies with the aim of reaching agreement on trademark rights and interoperability," read a joint statement.

Tension between the two firms flared last month after Apple announced that it had dubbed its upcoming cell phone "iPhone," for which Cisco claims to own the trademark. Following an initial breakdown in licensing discussions, Cisco filed a trademark infringement complaint against the iPod maker in federal court.

"Cisco entered into negotiations with Apple in good faith after Apple repeatedly asked permission to use Cisco's iPhone name," claimed Cisco senior VP and general counsel Mark Chandler.

For its part, Apple has flatly denied Cisco's claims, characterizing its lawsuit as both "silly" and "tenuous at best."

"We're the first company to ever use the iPhone name for a cellphone," Apple said in an ensuing statement. "If Cisco wants to challenge us on it, we're very confident we'll prevail."

Cisco claims that it has owned the iPhone trademark in the U.S. since 2000. Meanwhile, Apple has also filed for a trademark on the term with a broad range of international trademark offices, including a 2002 filing in the UK and a 2006 filing in New Zealand.