Apple Officially Loses 'iPhone' Trademark Dispute in Brazil, Appeals and Lawsuits Coming

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    BBC News reports that Apple has officially lost a trademark ruling in Brazil over the "iPhone" name, with officials declaring that a company now selling Android phones under the name is the rightful owner of the term based on its trademark application from 2000.

    The impact on Apple appears to be limited for the time being, however, as Apple is reportedly pursuing an appeal and can continue selling the iPhone under its present name in the country.
    Apple's case hinged on the fact that Gradiente had not launched a product with the "iPhone" name until late last year, despite having applied for the trademark over a decade earlier. Trademark officials did not, however, agree that IGB/Gradiente should be stripped of the rights to the mark.

    Gradiente noted last week that it was open to selling the rights to the iPhone trademark to Apple, but it appears that the dispute may continue through appeals and lawsuits for some time before a settlement might be reached.

    Article Link: Apple Officially Loses 'iPhone' Trademark Dispute in Brazil, Appeals and Lawsuits Coming
  2. macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2012
  3. macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2004
    Amazed that Apple didn't make an offer for the name in 2006 or earlier.
  4. macrumors 6502a

    I WAS the one

    May 16, 2006
    What is that?
    - an iPhone
    That's not an iPhone that's an iCrap!
    -look at the box man, this is an original iPhone... I'm not crazy!
    True, you are not crazy boy, you are screwed!
  5. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 5, 2010
    One Infinite Loop, Cupertino CA
    I guarantee that Apple isn't going to bring manufacturing to Brazil now. Not smart, Brazil. Not smart.
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 3, 2009
    Now moving jobs shouldn't trump the law.... (Wink, wink)

    CIA hasn't toppled any Latin American governments lately... If they wait too long, more leaders will grow a spine like Chavez. Maybe Apple would make a donation.... That's out of line and mean too...

    It's a good thing Apple's execs have a considerably better moral compass than say Oil or Steel barons in the past.
  7. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 17, 2012
    was Apple the one to set the trend for small letter capital letter? eg. eMac iMac. I remember playing online games and everyone was always iSomething. even the movie I, Robot kind of seems like it got the idea from there. Whoever set this trend should have right to use the term since it reflects upon themselves/company
  8. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    They sell their phone using the IPHONE brand-name.
  9. macrumors regular

    Feb 27, 2011
    You mean unlike the iPhone's that are currently being manufactured in Brazil?

    If a company owns a valid trademark, a company from another country cannot simply come in and take it over, simply because they 'forgot' or couldn't get their trademark in that particular country.

    If I register a trademark here in the UK, today, then the mighty Apple chooses the same trademark everywhere else in the world, in five years time, it doesn't mean they have a legal right to *my* trademark, registered first.
  10. OllyW, Feb 13, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2013



    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    As they will probably find out if they try to launch an "iTV". :)
  11. macrumors 604


    Nov 26, 2007
    I, Robot was a book written in 1950.
  12. macrumors 68000

    Dec 13, 2010
    Ah yes. Venezuela. The country that cant afford to import anything due to their worthless money thanks to hugo.
  13. macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    "Brazil" is not a single entity that can alter its own laws case-by-case over a matter that is much smaller to Apple than the manufacturing is.

    The legal process is how these negotiations happen, it seems, but in the end, Apple should pay: this company had the iPhone trademark long before Apple had the iPhone.

    Now, Apple DID have the iMac (not sure iBook, iPod, iTunes) first. Some companies did try to cash in on that by mimicking it, but I don't think it's a 100% certainty that that's what went on here.
  14. macrumors 6502

    Jul 6, 2008
    I'm sure all the Brazilians are glad that their legal system isn't guided by the market.
  15. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 5, 2010
    One Infinite Loop, Cupertino CA
    And? Apple isn't going to move more manufacturing to Brazil. That's all I'm saying.
  16. macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Dec 21, 2011
    Attention Apple: They beat you to the trademark by a few years - well before the iPhone was even conceived. That's why we have the ability to "trademark".

    Addendum to Apple: Just buy Brazil.
  17. macrumors 6502

    Dec 26, 2011
  18. Guest

    Apr 17, 2005
    Currently in Switzerland
    The Brazilian government has zilt to do with that - this is called application of law as it is supposed to happen in any civilized nation out there.

    In fact, Apple and its partners have already been manufacturing there and will continue to do so, for obvious reasons...Brazil is the 6th largest economy in the world and the natural leader of the Southern Hemisphere - in other words, a huge target market for Apple, as already confirmed by Cook and others.

    And no, we do not speak Spanish nor are we part of the prejudiced and nonsensical US-invented "latino" community. So for those with some knowledge of Brazilian Portuguese, you may check this "explanatory" video by Gradiente - they say that the idea behind "IPHONE" came from "INTERNET PHONE" back then (whether one believes that or not is irrelevant now):

    Ultimately, the INPI has simply applied Law 9279 on IPR - Apple has stated that it will appeal on "removal for non use" grounds. However, this is a lost cause, as it is clear that IGB DID release something since the registration was finally granted to that company in 2008 (the five-year period counts from effective registration and NOT deposit of the request).

    As I said before, Apple will have to shut up and pay; simple as that.
  19. macrumors 6502a


    May 7, 2011
    This Brazilian company is acting very typical and they have every LEGAL right to do so. I can't wait to hear how much they settle for...
  20. macrumors 6502

    Aug 7, 2008
    Smart?! Do you really think it would be 'smart' of a Brazilian court to base a decision on the need to keep Apple happy rather that the need to uphold the laws of their country? I think it would be shameful, and I'm pretty sure Brazil isn't that desperate.

    Some people on here have a really screwed up world view.
  21. macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2012
    move on apple, we want your innovation, instead of new lawsuit :rolleyes:
  22. macrumors 68020


    Aug 13, 2011
    If I were in charge of Apple, I would just simply not sell the phone in Brazil. Sure, make it available for sale online, but have the shipment of the phone come from some other country like: Colombia, Argentina..even Ecuador. Then that creates jobs in those other countries for shipment(not too many though) and then each government gets nice little tax incentives for the product all while Apple still makes money on the phone, keeps manufacturing facilities in Brazil, and doesn't infringe on the trademark. Done and done.
  23. macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2013

    yeah, because it makes sense to sell only a unlocked, more expensive iPhone.
    And it would be even cooler to pay triple taxes on it, since Apple is, right now, manufacturing iPhones in Brazil. According to your sugestion Apple should export all the iPhones being made in Brazil to a near country, to reimport then when they are sold.
    Jeez. I'm really happy you're not the guy in charge of Apple. Don't even want to imagine what else would you do .
  24. macrumors G5


    Nov 14, 2011
    Is a trademark still valid if you never actually use it? Isn't there some sort of statute of limitations? My guess is Gradiente will happily take a big wad of cash from Apple in exchange for Apple having the rights to iPhone in Brazil. :)


    Yeah I'm sure this takes up so much of Apple's time. Because we all know no one at Apple can walk and chew gum at the same time. :rolleyes:
  25. macrumors 68020


    Aug 13, 2011
    It does make sense because people will pay for them and I was unaware that cell phone companies in Brazil were subsidizing newer phones anyway. I am aware that the U.N. and the Brazilian government were giving low-income families less capable phones, but I thought that most major phones had to be purchased at full retail price.

    Who said anything about shipping the iPhones made in Brazil to a nearby country for sale in Brazil? I guess that's the way it could be read, but as of right now, the phones in Brazil are being sent elsewhere and I'm sure Apple already has agreements with the Brazilian government regarding taxes that most likely benefit both parties.

    I guess my idea of having the iPhones shipped from bordering countries was the major problem in articulating my position. The shipment would simply have to come from another country to avoid infringement of the trademark. This doesn't involve paying triple taxes. If they are also sold per unit, then the buyer will be responsible for the associated taxes and import fees. After all, iPhones were being manufactured in China before they were even available for sale there, and people in China were buying them online and having them shipped there. What's the difference? That "accidental" business model seems to have worked out just fine.

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