A BBC News report says that Apple has officially come up the loser in Brazil over the “iPhone” name. Official have declared that a company that sells an Android phone under that name is the rightful owner of the trademark, based on its application from the year 2000.
The INPI added 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.
Apple can also continue to sell iPhone-branded handsets in what is Latin America’s biggest market – however, Gradiente has an option of suing for exclusivity.
Apple’s case relied on the argument that Gradiente had not launched a product with the “iPhone” name until late last year, even though it had applied for the trademark over a decade earlier. Trademark officials did not, however, agree that IGB/Gradiente should be stripped of the rights to the trademark.
Gradiente said last week that it was willing to sell the rights to the iPhone trademark to Apple, but it appears Apple may continue its efforts to obtain the name via appeals and lawsuits before attempting to purchase the trademark.