Want to keep the TNW Conference vibe going?? Tickets for TNW2022 are available now >>

The heart of tech

This article was published on February 13, 2013

Apple loses IP ruling in Brazil, doesn’t have exclusive rights to the iPhone trademark for handsets

Apple loses IP ruling in Brazil, doesn’t have exclusive rights to the iPhone trademark for handsets Image by: AFP/Getty Images
Anna Heim
Story by

Anna Heim

Anna Heim is the founder of MonoLibre and a freelance writer for various tech and startup publications. She is a polyglot French news junkie Anna Heim is the founder of MonoLibre and a freelance writer for various tech and startup publications. She is a polyglot French news junkie with a love for technology.

Brazilian intellectual property regulators have ruled that Apple does not have exclusive rights to use the “iPhone” trademark in the country, BBC News reports.

As you may remember, Brazilian manufacturer Gradiente had recently launched an Android smartphone series called “IPHONE,” pointing out the registration rights its parent company IGB Eletrônica was granted in 2008 for the “IPHONE” brand after an initial request in 2000.

This precedence led Brazil’s Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) to rule that Apple does not have exclusive rights to use the “iPhone” trademark for mobile handsets, although it does still control that name in other verticals. While Apple can still sell its smartphones in Brazil, Gradiente has an option to sue for exclusivity.

It’s worth noting that the case is not over, as the INPI told the BBC it understood Apple was pursuing an appeal. In addition, Gradiente gave earlier indications that it was open to commercial negotiations. We have reached out to Apple for comment and will update this post accordingly.

Image credit: Mandy Cheng / AFP / Getty Images