Cisco boss, CEO John Chambers, thinks that company's dispute with Apple over use of the iPhone name is no more than a "minor skirmish".

Speaking to the International Herald Tribune, Chambers also said the dispute could have been avoided if Apple had been "willing to negotiate".

Cisco has claimed ownership of the trademark since 2000, when it acquired the name in a corporate takeover.

"We told Apple for five years: 'This is our trademark. We'll license it to you, but it is ours,'" he said. "All we ask is that people respect our trademarks and our intellectual property. We would have traded that for just interoperability," he added.

The Cisco boss described Apple as a company he has respect for, but said it has become difficult to "do business" with the Cupertino company.

Chambers was interviewed in Paris on his way to attend the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.