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Apple is facing a trademark battle in Brazil as the Brazilian Supreme Court is set to determine whether Apple is allowed to use the iPhone trademark in Brazil.

gradiente_iphone_white.jpg

The Brazilian Supreme Court will rule on the issue following a constitutional appeal by IGB Electronica, an electronics company that registered the iPhone trademark in Brazil in 2000.

Under the name Gradiente, IGB Electronica produced a line of IPHONE-branded Android smartphones in Brazil in 2012, and there was a period of time where the Brazilian company was given exclusive rights to the iPhone trademark.

There was a trademark battle and ultimately, Apple and IGB Electronica were both provided rights to use the name in the country. Since then, there's been continual back and forth fighting with each company attempting to gain exclusive rights to the trademark, but a 2018 decision upheld a 2013 ruling that gave both brands permission to use the trademark.

Earlier this year, IGB Electronica revived the dispute in an attempt to get the 2018 decision reversed by Brazil's Supreme Federal Court, and the court has agreed to hear the case. IGB argues that allowing Apple to use the trademark first filed by IGB "punishes creativity."
"Allowing a company to claim a trademark submitted in good faith by another one punishes creativity, distorts free competition and runs over Brazilian intellectual property authorities," says IGB's lawyer Igor Mauler Santiago in the petition. He also alleges the violation of free initiative and of trademarks protection, principles expressly prescribed in the Brazilian Constitution.
Apple has claimed that it was inappropriate for the National Institute of Industrial Property to grant the trademark to Gradiente in 2008 even though it was filed in 2000 because at that point, the iPhone existed.

It's not yet clear when the Brazilian Supreme Court will hear the case and come to a decision. IGB has been struggling for years and has lost close to 1 billion Brazilian Reals since 2018, so the ultimate goal may be a payout from Apple to end the dispute. Today's press release announcing the court's decision highlights commercial deals Apple has made in other countries to acquire rights to the iPhone trademark.

Apple's Brazilian dispute comes just after news that Apple has opposed the trademark application for Prepear, a recipe and meal planning app that uses a pear for an Apple logo. Apple fears people who encounter the pear logo will associate it with Apple.

Article Link: Brazilian Supreme Court to Determine If Apple Can Continue to Use 'iPhone' Trademark in Brazil
 

2010mini

macrumors 601
Jun 19, 2013
4,675
4,755
I don’t know how many phones Apple sells in Brazil, but I bet the Apple Phone would sell just as well.

Let the morons have their iPhone trademark (obviously filed because of Apple’s popular iMac product line debuted in 1998).

A lot of people/companies trademarked "I" product names. some in the hopes to win/settle against Apple. Similar to the report someone trademarked "3-Peat" when the Bulls won their second championship.

This is going to be interesting though... Apple was not able to use iTV because it is already trademarked and instead named it Apple TV.
 

Shirasaki

macrumors G5
May 16, 2015
14,109
8,791
This is a bad month for Apple! So, many legal battles Apple is going through. More money --- More problems.

What is going on in the REAL WORLD?
Apple’s PR reserve is much better than you might think otherwise. Even under multiple rounds of investigations and legal battles including this one, plenty of iSheep and diehard fans will protect Apple’s PR while paying Apple, as well as Apple’s own unrivalled PR machine. I have zero doubt that Apple will eventually market their way out of the mess they have right now.
 

Altivec88

macrumors regular
Jun 16, 2016
213
812
I don’t know how many phones Apple sells in Brazil, but I bet the Apple Phone would sell just as well.

Let the morons have their iPhone trademark (obviously filed because of Apple’s popular iMac product line debuted in 1998).

Yah, it all depends on the amount of sales. I'm sure it wouldn't be cheap to rebrand and produce a product for one specific country. Manufacturing, branding, OS, documentation, web presence, advertising, etc all have to be specialized. It might not be worth it and be cheaper to just pull out of Brazil.
 

GeoStructural

macrumors 65816
Oct 8, 2016
1,008
3,367
Colombia
I don’t know how many phones Apple sells in Brazil, but I bet the Apple Phone would sell just as well.

Let the morons have their iPhone trademark (obviously filed because of Apple’s popular iMac product line debuted in 1998).

How can you know for sure they had those intentions? This company was founded in the 60s, and its origin can be traced about 20 years before Apple even existed. They were also producing electronics when Steve Jobs was still in basic school.

They registered the brand name iPhone in 2000, 7 years before Apple released their product and they have been in the business ever since, not your average company troll.

When you say “obviously” and “popular” it is as baseless, just your conjecture. Macs are still not that prominent in Latin America, and 22 years ago in 1998 they had penetrated the market even less, Windows was (still is) king back then in Latin America.
 
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araadt

macrumors regular
Apr 28, 2016
106
157
Calgary, Alberta
Yah, it all depends on the amount of sales. I'm sure it wouldn't be cheap to rebrand and produce a product for one specific country. Manufacturing, branding, OS, documentation, web presence, advertising, etc all have to be specialized. It might not be worth it and be cheaper to just pull out of Brazil.

Product branding, packaging, advertising and documentation are already specialized on a per-country basis and more different than you may think. Why, here in Canada we even write things in French.
 

carlhancock

macrumors member
Apr 7, 2006
34
176
Yah, it all depends on the amount of sales. I'm sure it wouldn't be cheap to rebrand and produce a product for one specific country. Manufacturing, branding, OS, documentation, web presence, advertising, etc all have to be specialized. It might not be worth it and be cheaper to just pull out of Brazil.

Brazil is the 9th largest economy in the world. It has a large population and the 5th largest internet user base in the world. Pulling out of Brazil isn't really an option for Apple.

I'm really surprised they haven't settled this yet.
 

HiRez

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2004
6,120
2,145
Western US
If this company is losing money hand over fist, why settle? Just wait it out, let them go out of business.
I don’t know how many phones Apple sells in Brazil, but I bet the Apple Phone would sell just as well.
Yeah, I know the "iPhone" brand is iconic, but Apple is big enough now that they could change the name to Apple Phone (a better name anyway) and everyone would know that's it's the new name of the iPhone. They already have Apple TV, Apple Watch, Apple Pay, Apple Card, etc. so it makes sense. Even Apple Pad would be fine. Just need a new name for the iMac maybe. The "i" prefixes all feel like a 2000s anachronism to me, time for them to go.
 

drcre8tive

macrumors regular
Jul 28, 2014
129
222
New Orleans
Can we just ditch the "i" on everything? I mean, using "i" seems selfish and self-centered in this time and age. Perhaps uPhone, uMac, uPad is the next wave?
 
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Jameseh

macrumors newbie
Jan 10, 2018
5
5
This is going to be interesting though... Apple was not able to use iTV because it is already trademarked and instead named it Apple TV.

To be fair ITV (the UK broadcaster) are a fairly vast company of 50+ years, and have owned ITV.com as well as @Itv across social media from day one.

In this instance Apple would probably just buy the Brazilian company if they end up losing rights to the name.
 

jayducharme

macrumors 601
Jun 22, 2006
4,283
5,034
The thick of it
I don’t know how many phones Apple sells in Brazil, but I bet the Apple Phone would sell just as well.
I'd love to see Apple ditch the "i" in their product names. It was clever with the first iMac, but it's getting a bit long-in-the-tooth now. I think  Phone makes a lot more sense (along with  Pad).
 

Mr Magoo

macrumors member
Mar 1, 2019
76
106
Wouldn’t you like to know
If this company is losing money hand over fist, why settle? Just wait it out, let them go out of business.

Yeah, I know the "iPhone" brand is iconic, but Apple is big enough now that they could change the name to Apple Phone (a better name anyway) and everyone would know that's it's the new name of the iPhone. They already have Apple TV, Apple Watch, Apple Pay, Apple Card, etc. so it makes sense. Even Apple Pad would be fine. Just need a new name for the iMac maybe. The "i" prefixes all feel like a 2000s anachronism to me, time for them to go.
Yes, rename the stationary computers would be great. Fits much better. See: Mac mini, Mac (iMac), Mac Pro.

I forgot the iMac Pro. But maybe they can do like Samsung and call it Mac Pro ultra ?.
 

mashdots

macrumors 6502
Dec 10, 2015
284
847
seattle-ish
Can we just ditch the "i" on everything? I mean, using "i" seems selfish and self-centered in this time and age. Perhaps uPhone, uMac, uPad is the next wave?
I know this will sound a little silly, but I like how they did it with the Apple TV. It'll be a bit longer to say "Apple Phone" but the apple symbol next to "Phone" would be pretty sweet.

All in all, i think the suit is extra at this juncture seeing how long apple's been in the market and that Gradiente's iphone (a) isn't even on their site as a product to buy and (b) is an old-ass android (any other android is going to be significantly better). What are they really wanting at this point besides just money?
 
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abhibeckert

macrumors 6502
Jun 2, 2007
417
564
Cairns, Australia
They registered the brand name iPhone in 2000, 7 years before Apple released their product and they have been in the business ever since, not your average company troll.
They applied in 2000, but it was granted in 2008. But none of that matters at all - trademarks are not "first in best dressed" they are granted to whoever is best known in the community.

The fact it took eight years to grant a simple trademark shows just how slow that government department moves in Brazil, so I wouldn't expect a quick resolution to an actual dispute. But the way trademark laws generally work, I'd expect Apple to win. They're commonly resolved by doing surveys in the public to find out which company they think the trademark belongs to.

When you say “obviously” and “popular” it is as baseless, just your conjecture. Macs are still not that prominent in Latin America
Macs are irrelevant. iPhone has 15% marketshare in Brazil - which is a bit higher than the global average.

It doesn't look like Gradiente actually use the "iphone" name either. For example the "Gradiente Neo One GC 500, iphone SFB dual chip" seems to be the most recent model - released eight years ago with specs more in line with a phone from 15 years ago. And they refered to it as the "Neo One" in all their marketing.
 
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JosephAW

macrumors 603
May 14, 2012
5,199
6,637
With the removal of the word iPhone on my 11 I thought this summer they were going to rename everything with :apple: Phone.
 
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Plutonius

macrumors G3
Feb 22, 2003
8,800
8,002
New Hampshire, USA
They should just pay IGB Electronica for the trademark. It's not like they can't afford it. And I'm betting IGB Electronica wouldn't mind a huge sum of money.

Except that IGB doesn't have to sell the trademark to Apple and, if they do, they can charge whatever they want.

Apple will also probably be inundated by trademark lawsuits by others if they cave on this.
 
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notabadname

macrumors 68000
Jan 4, 2010
1,533
656
Detroit Suburbs
The real issue, and why Apple will likely maintain at least a shared right is the court ruling that resulted in: “ Apple and IGB Electronica were both provided rights to use the name in the country“. That ruling, and that is was later upheld, give Apple massive precedence to argue in their business case. They have been permitted to use the branding for a majority of the product cycle. And IGB appears to have little to show in their effective/substantial use of the brand. I don’t think Apple is losing sleep over this one. As was previously said, IGB seems to have apparently used the nomenclature after the success of the iMac as well. Nothing to see here.
 

gugy

macrumors 68040
Jan 31, 2005
3,737
5,011
La Jolla, CA
I'm surprised Gradiente still in business. They used to be popular in Brazil but that was many years back when it was hard to get important products in the country. Still, anything is at least 3x the standard prices due stupid taxes.
No wonder Brazilian tourists travel to Miami and return with tons of luggage. Sacoleiros! :D
 
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Plutonius

macrumors G3
Feb 22, 2003
8,800
8,002
New Hampshire, USA
I don’t know how many phones Apple sells in Brazil, but I bet the Apple Phone would sell just as well.

Let the morons have their iPhone trademark (obviously filed because of Apple’s popular iMac product line debuted in 1998).

It would require Apple to have a version of iPhones with unique Brazilian serial numbers.

iOS would then have to be updated to not show the word iPhone on these phones.

The app store would also need to be redone to not show the word iPhone on these phones (i.e. all the app descriptions changed).

There are probably 100's of things I'm missing but Apple would also have to change their website not to use the word iPhone in Brazil.

Do people still think that it's a good idea :) ?
 

sideshowuniqueuser

macrumors 68020
Mar 20, 2016
2,390
2,324
Lol....well this is kind of amusing after reading Apple suing some little 5 person outfit over a pear logo that looks like a pear and only a pear.
On a happier note, I'm willing to bet that business for the pear company is booming like wildfire due to the publicity, on top of a lot of public sympathy. I mean, I'd pretty much order a meal from them just to give them a boost.
 
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