The legal problems Apple is facing for the iPhone name are not new to Cupertino. In fact, it seems that in the past Steve Jobs had to resolve issues related to rights on names. We are not talking about the now known cause with Apple Corp. the Beatles record company, but about the most famous product of the Bitten Apple: the Mac.
Curiosity can be read directly from the book by John Sculley (former Apple CEO) Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple. According to Sculley, the 'Mac' name was already covered by trademark rights, rights belonging to another company.
It was advised to change the name, in order not to run into legal problems with the company holding the name 'Mac' (which seems to be Management and Computer Services Inc, a small software company from Philadelphia), but there was no way to convince Steve Jobs to change his mind: the Mac came out with that name in 1984.
Eventually Apple, after receiving a lawsuit from Management and Computer Services Inc. as expected, obtained rights to the Mac name, but had to pay about 2 million dollars to the Philadelphia company in 1985.
Certainly the choice of names by Steve Jobs has never been very spot on: first 'Apple', then 'Mac' and now 'iPhone'. Because of these simple names, Apple has always had to shell out large sums; we'll see if history repeats itself with Cisco.