US manufacturer Apple Inc has reportedly lost the rights to the ownership of the iPhone brand in Brazil, according to local press reports. It is understood that Brazilian electronics firm Gradiente, controlled by IGB Eletronica, will be revealed in the next edition of the trademark and patent protection agency INPI’s magazine as the winner of the battle to secure rights to the IPHONE name. BNAmericas writes that in December last year, Gradiente surprised the local market when it announced the launch of a smartphone line in the country under the brand name ‘IPHONE’. At the time, the parent company said it had filed its original petition to register and sell devices using the IPHONE name in Brazil twelve years ago – well before Apple’s iPhone release.
‘In 2000 Gradient filed to register a trademark for the IPHONE brand with INPI. On 2 January 2008 the company had its registration granted by the federal agency and started to hold the exclusive rights to produce and market this brand until 2018,’ it said.
Although the US firm has not commented on the case, Apple could still purchase the rights to the brand from Gradiente, as it has done in similar cases in other markets around the world.