Talk about how an intellectual property dispute can be amicably resolved! Today’s news covered one such incident: Apple Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. agreed that both parties could use the “iPhone” trade mark for their respective products and that all prevailing lawsuits would be dropped. I anticipate that the iPhone will prove to be another cash cow for Apple Inc.
The companies said they reached an agreement that will allow Apple to use the name for its sleek new multimedia device in exchange for exploring wide-ranging “interoperability” between the companies’ products in the areas of security, consumer and business communications. No other details of the agreement were released.
The companies both said they would dismiss any pending legal actions regarding the trademark.
Source: CIO Today [link]
An analysis of the excerpt above also proves that in addition to the trade mark being made available to both parties, there is also increased co-operation and “interoperability” — a very good example of savvy negotiation skills. In negotiation tactics, the best bet is to increase mutual benefits (upping the “win-win”) by “looking around”. In an age where Microsoft uses its huge market share to influence the direction of computing, alliances by other computing heavyweights are necessary to ensure survival.
In another recent incident involving Apple Inc., Apple Inc. settled patent disputes with Creative Technologies of Singapore in the following terms: USD$100 million, Creative Technologies being made a “Made For iPod” vendor, introducing various iPod compatible earphones and speaker systems, and cross-licensing of patents. link
Here’s to more good negotiating skills in intellectual property disputes.
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