Apple loses Brazilian iPhone trademark ruling
Brazilian regulators have ruled that Apple does not have exclusive
rights to use the 'iPhone' trademark in the country.
But the US tech giant has already lodged an appeal against the
decision with the Brazilian regulators. The ruling is the result of a
local company, Gradiente Eletronica, registering the name in 2000, seven
years before the US firm.
Apple can continue to sell iPhone-branded handsets in Brazil. But the
decision means that Gradiente has an option of suing for exclusivity in
South America's biggest market.
The Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) told the BBC that its
decision only applied to handsets, and that the California-based company
continued to have exclusive rights to use the iPhone name elsewhere
including on clothing, in software and across publications.
INPI added that Apple had argued that it should have been given full
rights since Gradiente had not released a product using the iPhone name
until December 2012.
Apple is asking the INPI to cancel Gradiente's registration through
expiration - it is arguing that the Brazilian firm did not use the name
between January 2008 and January 2013.
The Manaus-headquartered company now sells its Android-powered iPhone
Neo One for 599 reals ($304; £196).
Bloomberg previously reported that the chairman of Gradiente had
said, "We're open to a dialogue for anything, anytime... we're not
Apple's most recent financial results revealed its cash reserves had
grown to $137bn (£88bn).
The firm's manufacturing partner, Foxconn, currently produces iPhones
and iPads among other equipment at its facilities in Brazil.