The iPhone moniker is in jeopardy in Brazil

By , Feb 4, 2013

Steve Jobs White iPhone 4 No More

When Apple acquired rights to the iPhone moniker from Cisco ahead of the 2007 iPhone launch, the company probably never dreamed that it could face losing naming rights in Brazil. Reuters in December 2012 relayed a local report explaining that the Brazilian electronics maker IGB Eletrônica SA owns a trademark for the “IPHONE” term in Brazil. And now, another report has it that IGB could indeed be the rightful holder of the iPhone trademark in the country…

Our reader Douglas passed along a story by Oglobo which explains that Gradiente, an IGB brand, has been selling its G-Gradiente iPhone since 2000. The company allegedly has won the rights to use the iPhone moniker for its products back in 2008 following a patent request made in 2000.

IGB Electronica iPhone (image 002)
IGB’s Android-driven G-Gradiente iPhone.

Forbes follows up, writing that “it is unlikely that Apple’s 2007 request with the Brazilian Institute for Industrial Property (INPI) to make iPhone an exclusive Apple trademark will pass muster”.

Gradiente launched its G-Gradiente iPhone just fifteen days before its trademark rights expired. The INPI is scheduled to announce its decision on the dispute in the Industrial Property Magazine tomorrow, February 5.

Looks like Gradiente has a solid case here, which means Apple is likely going to have to pay millions of dollars to acquire the iPhone moniker from the company.

Apple faced a similar situation in China over the iPad moniker and eventually had to pay $60 million to acquire the trademark from bankrupt Chinese company ProView.

We will be following how this story unfolds and update you with latest developments.

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  • thepies

    99%.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ian-Woodward/652923975 Ian Woodward

      lol, shame its just an auto updating script. Move your computer clock forward and it goes past 100%.
      On the article subject it would appear Apple will have to pay off / buy the company in question with a bit of loose change behind the sofa in the Cupertino reception

      • http://twitter.com/brooksbrooks104 brooks whiffen seale

        I did that, and If I move it an hour past the alledged release (11 AM for me) then the website crashes

      • Falk M.

        Don’t divide by zero, fellas!

      • NoBrainer

        Maybe refreshing helps, check my comment above. Replace the DOT with a “.”

      • Falk M.

        I wasn’t replying to you :/

        Also, I just tried to be funny. I’m not messing with my system time, because I want certain stuff on my computer not to fuck up.
        (erroneous time stamps, cron jobs, etc)

    • One wan

      99% very very closer

    • NoBrainer

      oh you still on 99?

      https://www.dropbox DOT com/s/0l6drk7qv4etgwe/Foto%2004.02.13%2015%2044%2022.png

  • http://twitter.com/HeitorStifler Heitor Castro 

    As a brazilian i’m feeling shy about this. Gradiente was almost broken, now they see an opportunity to earn some money from Apple with a license agreement. And all for a cheap smartphone with Android. Oh boy.

    • Kurt

      So what if they were a wealthy company or not. Why can’t you Apple fan dorks be fair about things. If they have the rights to it then Apple ought to pay. It’s quite simple.

      • http://twitter.com/HeitorStifler Heitor Castro 

        I’m not saying they don’t have the rights about ‘iPhone’ trademarks, what I’m saying is: they did it, maybe just thinking about the successful future of Apple and iPhone, so they could earn some money with that. They have the rights, they may might receive for it.

      • planetcoalition

        I have to agree with you. Nobody had thought Apple would make an iPhone in 2000 (let alone an iPod!). It’s not like the company should give the trademark away.

  • Guest

    This is awful. Everyone knows they did this to get some money out of Apple. Not because they really felt that the name better suited this phone. Notice how they only started seeking lawsuits AFTER the iPhone became popular.

    Usually I’m on the “against apple” side when it comes to lawsuits, but in this case, this was just a name trademark troll that succeeded.

    • Kurt

      If you had the rights to the name, would you just say, “Oh let’s just give it to Apple for free!” Yeah I’m sure you would have.

      Thumbs down for you…

    • Dan

      They have a right to the name, it would be ridiculous to give it away for free. If you were in their shoes, would you hesitate about cashing in?

  • Gerard Hampton

    i could be reading it wrong but it says they had the iphone name in 2000. 7 years before apple did. they made a product with that name before the time limit ran out like theyre supposed to. how is that patent trolling? apple would have been counting down the days but too bad if thats the law. i would have done the same thing. these guys should make more than 60mil seeing as they have a legitimate product unlike the bankrupt proview.

  • Pepeloso

    All The Jailbreak Hype Is Dying, There Making Us Wait To Long…

  • http://www.facebook.com/SimerpreetSinghSaddana Simerpreet Singh

    mine is on 106% n then i checked the time n it was 1 day ahead lolz