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Apple Entangled in ‘iPhone’ Trademark Standoff in Brazil

A trademark tussle is heating up in Brazil, pitting the world’s most valuable company Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Brazilian electronics company IGB Electronica better known as Gradiente. The two are entangled in a long-running tussle over the use of the ‘iPhone’ trademark.

iPhone Trademark Standoff

The Cupertino-based company has asked Brazil’s National Institute of Industrial Property to invalidate the Gradiente trademark alleging it infringes on its logo. While the company did file for the Gradiente iPhone trademark in 2,000, Apple argues it only started using it when its iPhones had enjoyed immense success.

The Brazilian company can use the Gradiente iPhone brand in the country. However, it has lost exclusive rights to the trademark. It has since fired back at the Supreme Court and continues to contest the notion that any other company can use the trademark.

In its filing, the company argues that invalidating the Gradiente trademark in Brazil violates free enterprise competition and trademark protection. Apple, on its part, has fired back, insisting that other companies claiming ownership of the trademark have copied its branding, especially in using the first lower case ‘I’ in the iPhone name.

Apple vs. IGB Electronica

IGB Electronica did produce a line of IPHONE-branded Android phones in 2012. At that time, the company had exclusive rights to the iPhone trademark in the country. A fierce trademark battle led to Apple and the Brazilian company being allowed to use the iPhone trademark name in the country.

The two have sued each other over the use of the name in the country. Each company is seeking to gain exclusive rights to the iPhone trademark. IGB has already spent close to 1 billion Real’s since 2018 as it seeks to be awarded exclusive rights to the trademark. Apple on its part has made commercial deals in other countries to acquire rights to the iPhone trademark.

The ball is in the Brazilian Supreme Court to decide which of the two companies will use the iPhone trademark in the country.

Ruchi Gupta

Ruchi Gupta covers various beats from finance to technology and from lifestyle to hobbies. She has an MBA in Finance. Ruchi enjoys writing on celebrities and political news. She likes traveling and exploring places.

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