Cisco and Apple have agreed that both companies will used the disputed iPhone name for different products - and trailed a possibility their iPhones may even work together

The two companies said they would "explore opportunities for interoperability" in security and communications technologies for consumers and business users, in an announcement that clears Apple to launch its planned iPhone product. Other terms of the agreement, which heads off a lawsuit filed by Cisco over rights to the iPhone trademark, were not disclosed.

Cisco last month sued Apple in the US District Court for the Northern District of California for infringing its iPhone trademark with the announcement of a cellular handset that bears the same name. At that time, Cisco said it obtained rights to the iPhone name through its 2000 acquisition of Infogear, which had a product line called iPhone.

In addition, Cisco's Linksys division last year began selling a line of dual-mode cordless phones, called iPhone, that let users make VOIP (voice over Internet Protocol) calls.

Cisco's lawsuit against Apple came right after CEO Steve Jobs announced the company's own iPhone cellular handset at the Macworld event in San Francisco. That announcement was made without an agreement with Cisco to use the iPhone name, a company spokesman said at the time.

Prior to Jobs' iPhone announcement, Apple and Cisco had discussed terms of an agreement for Apple to use the name. Those discussions continued after the iPhone announcement and the filing of the lawsuit, ultimately resulting in the settlement.

Resolving this issue clears a major problem in the way of the iPhone, but others remain.