Apple Loses Exclusive Rights to “iPhone” Trademark in Brazil

Apple is going through that Proview stage all over again, this time in Brazil.

BBC reports that Apple has lost the “iPhone” trademark in Brazil. The country’s Institute of Intellectual Property (INPI) has ruled that the American company does not hold exclusive rights to use their popular trademark within Brazilian soil.

The institute declared that the rights of the iPhone trademark belong to a local electronics company called Gradiente Eletronica SA, which registered the trademark in 2000, seven years before Apple launched its iPhone.

Under the ruling, Apple can continue to sell its popular smartphone in Brazil, the largest market in Latin America. However, Gradiente has the option to sue Apple for exclusivity. The decision only covers handset, so Apple also has an option to use the iPhone name in other products for Brazil.

Apple has lodged an appeal against the decision, claiming that Gradiente had not released a product using the iPhone brand until December 2012. They were right. Gradiente, currently known as IGB Eletronica SA as a result of a restructuring process, launched its “iphone” line of Android smartphones during that time (as shown in the photo).

IGB’s Chairman Eugenio Emilio Staub has said in an interview with Bloomberg that they are “open to a dialogue for anything, anytime.”

Source: BBC, via App Advice

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