Till a few days ago, the “official” iPhone in Brazil was actually an Android phone, as Apple didn’t own the “iPhone” trademark in the country. But today, Apple won a ruling that granted it the right to use the “iPhone” trademark in Brazil, which was earlier held exclusively by IGB Electronica.
From an AFP report:
A court has ruled that Apple can use the trademark iPhone in Brazil, ending the exclusive rights Brazilian firm Gradiente had been given by INPI, the Latin American nation’s intellectual property office.
The judge ruled that both companies could legally use the name in Brazil.
IGB Electronics SA had filed for the “iphone” trademark in 2000, but was granted the rights to use it only in 2008. The company had previously indicated that it was open to selling rights to the trademark, like Proview did in China, but Apple chose to take the legal route, and today it won.
Judge Eduardo de Brito Fernandes said that Apple’s iPhone is “world renowned” and allowing IGB to continue having exclusive rights to the trademark would be unfair to Apple since ”all (Apple) product’s renown and client following have been built on its performance and excellence as a product.” The judge also added that IGB used the name just to indicate that its device was a combination of “internet” and phone whereas Apple already had a wide range of products with the “i” name.
Despite the ruling, the issue isn’t settled yet since IGB will appeal the decision.