Cisco Sysco

Sysco Corporation has been using SYSCO since the early 1970s.

Cisco Technology, Inc. started using CISCO in the 1990s.

CISCO sounds exactly like SYSCO.

Why is that OK?

For long-time readers, you know the answer has to do with those darn du Pont factors.  Here are the two du Pont factors that are considered the most important:

  • The similarity or dissimilarity of appearance, sound, and connotation of the marks.
  • The relatedness of the goods or services.

The first of the two key factors is a problem for Cisco Technology, Inc. The marks are identical in sound. It’s kinda interesting that the words look quite different but the complete identity of the sound is what’s going to control here. I can’t start a band and call it GHOTI* without running afoul of the band PHISH.

It’s the second bullet that gets Cisco Technology off the hook. It’s hard to imagine two more different areas of endeavor:

Distributing food products to restaurants and other foodservice companies.                       vs.Developing, manufacturing and selling networking hardware and telecommunications equipment

I find it very hard to imagine a restaurant owner called Cisco Technology to order eggplant for her moussaka. I find it equally hard to imagine her calling Sysco to buy a new router.

And that’s why it’s OK.




Shout out to Julie W. for the suggestion that led to this post.

Photo by Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine [CC0], from Wikimedia Commons

*GHOTI = FISH if you pronounce GH as in “rough”; O as in “women”; and TI as in “friction.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s