Consumer electronics maker Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and network equipment manufacturer Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) said they have agreed to extend Apple's time to respond to Cisco's lawsuit alleging that Apple's '˜iPhone' name is violating a trademark.

Cisco alleges that the iPhone, first shown at the Macworld Expo in January, is deceptively and confusingly similar to its own product which bears the same name. The company filed suit against Apple on January 10, and on Thursday extended the time Apple has to respond.

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, the statement reads.

Cisco obtained the iPhone trademark through its acquisition of Infogear. The trademark filing was made in March of 1996. Cisco first began using the mark on products in early 2006 on a line of portable phones that made Internet calls.

The potential for convergence of the home phone, cell phone, work phone and PC is limitless, which is why it is so important for us to protect our brand, Cisco said when filing the suit.

Shares of Apple were down 56 cents, or 0.65 percent to $85.17 in late Friday afternoon trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Cisco shares were up 10 cents, or 0.38 percent to $26.70.