Apple loses Brazil branding case

Regulators in Brazil have ruled today that Apple does not have the exclusive rights to the
use the ‘iPhone’ trademark in Brazil.

This result is because a local company by the name of Gradiente Electronica has
registered the name all the way back in 2000, which was seven years before Apple did the

A spokesperson for Apple declined to comment when asked by the BBC but it is
understood that Apple are already going to appeal the decision. I suppose is easy when
you have bags of cash to blow on frivolous lawsuits all over the world!

The INPI (The Institute of Industrial Property) has said that the ruling will only apply to
mobile handsets and that Apple can continue to have exclusive rights to use the iPhone
branding on other products, such as t-shirts and in software.

Apple have also been allowed to continue selling their own iPhones in Brazil which just
also happens to be the largest market in South America but Gradiente does have the
option to sue Apple for exclusivity of the iPhone brand.

Apples stance in the court was that it should be granted the full rights to the iPhone brand
because Gradiente had not released anything under the iPhone name until December

Gradiente are selling their (Ironically) Android based phone under the name ‘iPhone Neo
One’ for around 599 reals, which equates to $304 or £196. Android AND cheaper than an
iPhone? Oh that’s gotta hurt.

Bloomberg has previously reported that the chairman of Gradiente has stated that “We’re
open to a dialogue for anything, anytime…we’re not radicals”. The most recent financial
reports filed by Apple show that the behemoths cash reserves have grown to $137bn
(£88bn) which means that it shouldn’t be a trouble for the company to pay a settlement
should it come to that.

Last Updated on