Apple loses iphone in a ‘Trademark’ war against a Brazilian company as it is refused permission to sell its products under that trademark.
Brazil’s Institute of Intellectual Property (INPI) has ruled that the iDevice maker doesn’t have the exclusive rights to use the trademark in the country.
The ruling is hardly a surprise, since it had been suggested last week, when it was originally scheduled to be announced.
In accordance with the ruling, the trademark belongs to a local electronics company called Gradiente Eletronica SA. Gradiente registered the trademark in 2000, seven years before the iPhone we’ve come to know (and love) was launched.
Apple has long been selling the iPhone in Brazil, which is the largest market in Latin America. Under the ruling, the Cupertino-based company can continue to sell its popular smartphone in the country. However, Gradiente has an option to sue for exclusivity.
Apple Inc.’s request to use the iPhone name in Brazil was rejected by regulators who ruled in favor of a local competitor.
IGB Eletronica SA, the Brazilian electronics maker that applied to register the name in 2000 and won the rights to use it in 2008, continues to hold the trademark. IGB started selling its own iPhone model in December.
The institute responsible for granting trademarks, known as Inpi, issued the decision on its website today, seven years after Apple submitted its request.
Apple can use the iPhone name for other products, including clothing and pamphlets, Marcelo Chimento, a spokesman for Inpi, said in a Feb. 5 telephone interview.
IGB couldn’t be reached for comment. Amy Bessette, a spokeswoman for Apple, declined to comment.