When Steve Jobs and Apple made the headlines with the release of the iPhone, there was one little problem. The company didn’t own the rights to the name.

Of course, with anyone else this would have been considered a major blow, but with Apple – which seems to make a habit of running into difficulties over name ownership (after all, an obscure pop band that no one had ever heard of called the Beatles had a record label called Apple) – it seemed little more than the tiniest of ripples in its halo.

The trouble was this: back in 2000, Cisco bought a company that had registered the name iPhone. It had been in discussions with Apple over use of the name, but no agreement had been made when the product was announced , and the lawyers took over.

At the time the FT quoted an Apple spokesman as saying the whole saga was silly, and that iPhone is a generic name, with many VolP companies using it.

But now it’s all over. The two have agreed they can both use the name. What’s more, they are going to explore opportunities for “interoperability.”

So all’s well that ends well, except you know behind the smiling faces there are plenty of grimaces.

© Investment & Business News 2013