Local company Gradiente Eletronica SA to face battle from Apple for iPhone brand name.
Apple is to challenge local Brazilian firm Gradiente Eletronica SA for the rights to its iPhone trademark in Brazil, following yesterday’s (February 13th) ruling that the Brazilian company had dibs on the name first, Reuters has reported.
Regulator Inpi ruled that Gradiente Eletronica SA owned the iPhone trademark, having filed its request to use the iPhone brand name in 2000 - seven years prior to the launch of Apple’s smartphone - but only receiving approval to use it in 2008.
However, Apple is now challenging the Brazilian firm to the rights for the iPhone trademark. This means that Gradiente has 60 days in which to prove to Inpi that it used the trademark between January 2008 and January 2013, on account of Brazil’s policy that brands must be developed within five yeasrs of being approved.
IGB Eletronica SA, a firm formed following the restructuring of Gradiente, launched its ‘iphone’ smartphone range in December 2012.
While comments from Apple and Gradiente haven’t been forthcoming, an Inpi spokesman stated that Apple could still take the case to court or settle out of with Gradiente.