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Report: Apple loses iPhone trademark in Brazil

updated 10:07 pm EST, Tue February 5, 2013

Brazilian ruling to be published on February 13

According to reports, Brazil's copyright office will prevent Apple from marketing the iPhone trademark in the Latin America country. The Brazilian courts had awarded the trademark to Gradiente Eletronica SA, a local electronics maker who registered the name in 1998, nine years prior to Apple's launch. Owing to some technical difficulties with the announcing media, the Brazilian Institute of Intellectual Property will make the decision public on February 13. Following the announcement, Apple could then challenge the ruling in the courts.

The company claims that Apple has not contacted the Brazilian manufacturer regarding the trademark. "We're open to a dialogue for anything, anytime," IGB Chairman Emilio Staub said of the ruling. "We're not radicals."

The company that formed after the bankruptcy and reformation of Gradiente Eletronica, IGB Eletronica SA started selling the G IPHONE Gradient in Brazil in December. The Neo One will retail for 600 reais ($302), according to Macworld Brasil. The device is running Android version 2.3 'Gingerbread' and features a touchscreen, support for dual-SIM chips, and 3G connectivity.

The Latin America court system has traditionally issued rulings friendly to local companies using the trademark. In November 2012, Mexican company iFone was allowed to use the linguistically similar brand name in parallel with Apple despite an effort for Apple to enjoin the usage. A countersuit is still pending.

by MacNN Staff




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