Because the constant flow of legal news surrounding Apple and other industry giants makes for some of the most interesting and rewarding reading in the smartphone industry, it’s worth sharing that Apple today lost the exclusive iPhone trademark in Brazil.
This comes after Android manufacturer Gradiente took Apple to court over the Cupertino company’s exclusive trademark over the “iPhone” brand. Gradiente registered the “iPhone” name as a trademark back in 2000, seven years before Apple’s smartphone was unveiled.
This means that, at the moment, Apple can continue to sell the iPhone in Brazil. However, Gradiente – having proven that they have rights to the term that predate Apple’s – could potentially sue for exclusive rights to the “iPhone” name. That would mean that Apple would have to either pull out of Brazil (unlikely; Brazil is South America’s largest mobile market) or rebrand their device.
Apple has already filed an appeal to the court. Apple’s argument is based around the fact that Gradiente did not use the “iPhone” term until December of 2012. Therefore, Apple’s argument goes, the term was unused and therefore unassociated with any previous products. Since Apple’s iPhone is now a worldwide brand, Apple believse that Gradiente’s trademark is null and void.
Is Apple being ridiculous, or is Gradiente trying to piggyback off of the success of a giant?