Apple has won the right to use the “iPhone” name in Brazil after a judge ruled in favor of the U.S. handset maker in an ongoing lawsuit versus IGB Electronica, a Brazilian phone company. The Brazilian firm had filed for the trademark in 2000, but never used the name until December of 2012, when it released a line of Android phones using the iPhone moniker.
Following the launch of the Android IPHONEs, Brazil’s Institute for Industrial Property ruled that IGB had exclusive rights to the trademark as related to mobile phones. Apple appealed the decision, and on Tuesday, Judge Eduardo de Brito Fernandes overturned the ruling, denying IGB exclusive access to the iPhone mark.
The judge said the iPhone brand had gained recognition due to Apple’s success, and that should have been considered in the original ruling.
The judge also ruled the Brazilian firm’s name was simply the combination of “internet” and “phone,” referring to a phone with internet access, while Apple already had an extensive “i” lineup of devices registered in several countries.
Both Apple and IGB have been given rights to the trademark, but of course IGB has announced it will appeal the decision.
It was reported in March that Apple was in talks with IGB over a cash settlement for the trademark, it is unknown if Apple will continue to attempt to make a settlement.
(UPDATE: 10/11/13) – MacRumors reports that Apple has been granted authorization by the Brazilian National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel) to sell the iPhone 5c and 5s in the country. The two devices have received approval for their 4G technology to operate on the 2600 MHz band. The devices will be produced at the Foxconn factories in São Paulo.
No release date for the handsets has been announced as yet.