Apple loses iPhone trademark exclusivity in Brazil, must share with Gradiente Eletronica; Apple lodges appeal

“Brazilian regulators have ruled that Apple does not have exclusive rights to use the ‘iPhone’ trademark in the country,” BBC News reports. “But the US tech giant has already lodged an appeal against the decision with the Brazilian regulators.”

“The ruling is the result of a local company, Gradiente Eletronica, registering the name in 2000, six years before the US firm. Apple can continue to sell iPhone-branded handsets in Brazil,” The Beeb reports. “But the decision means that Gradiente has an option of suing for exclusivity in South America’s biggest market.”

“The Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) told the BBC that its decision only applied to handsets, and that the California-based company continued to have exclusive rights to use the iPhone name elsewhere including on clothing, in software and across publications,” The Beeb reports. “INPI added that Apple had argued that it should have been given full rights since Gradiente had not released a product using the iPhone name until December 2012. Apple is asking the INPI to cancel Gradiente’s registration through expiration – it is arguing that the Brazilian firm did not use the name within a five year limit. The Manaus-headquartered company now sells its Android-powered iPhone Neo One for 599 reals ($304; £196).”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As previously reported, Gradiente is “open” to dealing with Apple, as in: Open your bank vault, Apple, take out a big wad (to us) of cash and deposit it in our bank account.

Related articles:
iPhone trademark owner in Brazil ‘open’ to selling rights to Apple – February 5, 2013
Analyst: Apple likely to buy right to use iPhone brand in Brazil – December 27, 2012
IGB to sell ‘IPHONE’ brand of Android phones in Brazil – December 18, 2012


  1. Look, the USA has been a big proprietor, inventor and pusher of the whole copyright/trademark quagmire that is fowling everything up. Too bad it’s Apple, but they should eat their own dog food.

    These guys registered it and own it. Yeah they are definitely dicks. Unfortunately that is not illegal (especially in the US).

    1. There is a time limit for actually offering a product using the name you have trademarked. This is to prevent name-squatting, wherein a company takes the dictionary and trademarks every combination of two or three words, then tries to collect money from anyone who has a product using one of their trademarked word combinations. Implicit in this is that the company has no intention of actually offering a product, just profiting from the sale of names.

      Gradiente Eletronica registered the name in 2000, long before the iPhone or the Android operating system. They offered no product until 2012, seven years after the expiration of their registration rights. This is a case of the Brazilian bureaucracy protecting the local boy. Apple has no choice but to withdraw the iPhone from the Brazilian market and to inhibit further production of iPads in Brazil. I hear Turkey would really like to have an iPad production operation located there.

  2. The Brazilians have a right to their trademark. The fate of Brazil is not in the hands or the iPhone. American laws don’t operate in Brazil. Brazil’s economy has stabilized and grown because of their tax policy and their decision to remain energy independent.

    Apple needs the market m,ore than Brazil needs Apple.

    Get over yourselves.

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