Apple may be forced to acquire the trademark for the iPhone name in Brazil

On February 5, 2013

Few months ago we talked about a Brazilian company that holds a patent for the iPhone brand name and that Apple could be forced to stop marketing the device in that country. I also said that the company launched on the Brazilian domestic market an Android smartphone which is called iPhone, and now we learn that they would be willing to sell that brand to Apple. Office for patents and trademarks in Brazil is expected to announce that the Gradient has the exclusive right to use the mark, and after this notice Apple will either begin negotiations with Gradient, or be driven to court and lost.

The owner of the iPhone trademark in Brazil, IGB Eletronica SA (IGBR3), said it would consider selling the naming rights to Apple Inc. “We’re open to a dialogue for anything, anytime,” said Eugenio Emilio Staub, chairman of IGB, in an interview in Sao Paulo. “We’re not radicals.”

Gradients applied for registration of the iPhone name in 2000, it was approved in 2008, and Apple is in a similar situation to last year when a Chinese company acted in court for a similar reason. Apple ended the dispute by paying U.S. $60 million to the Chinese company and in Brazil could be forced to pay a rather large sum, even if the local market is not that important to Americans.