Apple loses iphone naming rights in Brazil

Apple is a brand recognised the world over. Their products are instantly ‘well known’ as soon as they are announced in highly-anticipated launch events. It’s hard to imagine them ever having an issue with trademarks, but earlier this year it emerged that Apple wouldn’t receive exclusive rights to the iPhone name in Brazil.

Apple were denied the rights to the ‘iPhone’ name by INPI (the Brazilian institute in charge of intellectual property) because a Brazilian company – Gradiente Electronica – had already filed a trademark in 2000.

Although the ruling is only limited to Brazil, and only related to handsets and not in other mediums, it means that Gradiente will be able to sue Apple for exclusivity.

This is not a new occurrence, and Apple has faced trademark obstacles in the past. In a previous blog we talked about the problems Apple had in China concerning the ‘iPad’ trademark and it will be interesting to see how this matter unfolds.


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