IGB Electronica iPhone (image 001)

Earlier this month came a rumor that Apple was in jeopardy of losing its ‘iPhone’ trademark in Brazil to the local electronics maker IGB Eletrônica SA, which applied for exclusive rights to the name back in 2000, winning the rights to the moniker. In 2007, Apple asked the Brazilian Institute for Industrial Property (INPI) to make iPhone its exclusive trademark, but a report lats week suggested the request won’t pass muster. Today, Brazilian regulators have ruled that Apple does not have exclusive rights to use the “iPhone” trademark in the country…

BBC has the story:

The decision is the result of a local company, Gradiente Eletronica, registering the name in 2000, seven years before the US firm.

A spokesman for Apple declined to comment.

But the Institute of Industrial Property told the BBC it understood Apple was pursuing an appeal.

This is a major blow.

Of all companies, Apple loses the precious iPhone maker to a Brazilian Android maker.

Gradiente, an IGB brand, has been selling its G-Gradiente ‘iPhone’ since 2000, seen top of post.

The INPI’s decision only applies to handsets so Apple still has exclusive rights to use the iPhone name elsewhere in the country, including on clothing, in software and across publications.

While Apple can continue to sell the iPhone in Brazil, it now risks Gradiente suing it for exclusivity though Apple could be looking to acquiring the moniker from Gradiente just like it did with the iPad moniker in China.

  • I’m Brazilian and just a quick correction: Gradiente was selling its Gradiente Neo-One since 2000… In 2012, it announced that it would “re-make” Neo-One with the name “G-Gradiente iphone”. Anyway, nobody here remembered Gradiente. They’re using it to get some “free advertising”…

    • fdfdfdf

      I`m Brazilian too, Gradiente just wanted to keep the name to sell it for Apple in the future.

      • 2000 was before Apple started naming everything with an “i” in front of it, so how could this company have known to trademark it then?

      • phatmanjr.

        good point. o-O

      • Because all “iLine” names were very obvious. Remember before the iPad release, how many brands have tried to register the iSlate name thinking that Apple would adopt that name? Or do you think that Apple stole the iPhone name on porpuse from a brand that even the most brazilians don’t know..?

      • chjode

        The iMac was introduced on August 15, 1998.

      • nzbr

        Wrong, Gradiente thought that apple could use the iPhone trademark in the future since Steve Jobs announced the “i” moniker – as reference to the word internet – with the first iMac, that was launched way before 2000. Gradiente is known for trademarking names of other companies – mainly international – products ahead of it’s launch at the country, so they can sell the rights for the trademark afterwards. They did it with the name PlayStation in the past. At the time, they were the official importer of the Nintendo products.

      • iMac was the ONLY “i” product at the time. Yes, they do trademark the stuff before others, but how do you know 7 years ahead of time to trademark a phone name?

      • Falk M.

        He/she said “keep”, so I think his/her point is that whilst they didn’t know in advance, they kept the name even until after iPhone’s success to have a worthier asset to sell to Apple.

        I think that was his/her point.

  • Pedro Cesar

    This i such brazilian stuff…..

    Sometimes I really don’t like the policy of some enterprises…

  • I’m not brazilian


    • deepdvd

      Laughing Out Loud Out Loud Laughing Out Loud Out Loud Out Loud Out Loud Out Loud Out Loud Out Loud Out Loud

  • Suck shit Apple!