Apple Avoids iPhone-Like Trademark Battle Thanks To Cisco, FaceTime Deals

Updated: Apple’s decision to rename its iPhone operating system “iOS” once again has it using a trademark owned by Cisco Systems (NSDQ: CSCO) — but this time the two companies won’t be fighting over it. Cisco, which has called its network infrastructure software “IOS” for more than a decade, tells us it has licensed the trademark to Apple (NSDQ: AAPL). Separately, Apple has retained the rights to use the *FaceTime* name for its new video chat service from that trademark’s previous owner, *FaceTime* Communications — which says on its site that it has transferred the trademark to Apple and will be changing the name of its company.

The deals mean Apple can avoid the type of legal battle that followed its announcement of the iPhone in January 2007. The day after Apple announced the phone, Cisco sued the company saying it had owned the iPhone trademark since 2000. The two companies ultimately settled the dispute, with Apple getting the rights to use the name in exchange for exploring wide-ranging “interoperability” between the companies’ products.