Apple taken to Brazil Supreme Court over iPhone trademark – NEWS.com.au


Tech giant Apple is facing another day in court that could prevent them using the name of its most popular product in a country of more than 209 million people.

The iPhone is Apple’s biggest seller and likely its best-known product, but seven years before it was announced, a Brazilian company filed a trademark for the name.

The Gradiente Group filed documents with Brazil’s trademark authority in 2000 for the name “iphone”, but it wasn’t granted the trademark until 2008, after Apple’s iPhone went on sale.

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In 2012, the Gradiente iphone went on sale, much to the chagrin of Apple, who then asked Brazil’s trademark authority to award it the exclusive rights to the iPhone brand name, arguing that Gradiente didn’t release a phone until five years after Apple did.

Eventually it was decided in 2013 both companies should be allowed to use the name, pleasing neither.

They’ve been squabbling over it ever since.

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In 2018 it was again decided that both companies can use the name.

Earlier this year Gradiente, also known as IGB Electronica, revived the battle, and now Brazil’s Supreme Court will decide.

“The Supreme Court’s President understood the relevance of the matter to our sovereignty and to the protection of intellectual property in Brazil,” company founder Eugenio Staub celebrated.

“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,” IGB’s lawyer Igor Mauler Santiago argued.

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It’s the latest in a series of legal battles for Apple, who are being sued by the makers of hit video game Fortnite, accused of abusing its control over the App Store.

Apple also recently sought to stop a mum of four who created a platform for food bloggers to insulate their business from the ever changing big tech algorithms from using a pear logo.

In a poll on news.com.au 97 per cent of the 33,000 readers who weighed in thought it looked nothing like the Apple logo.

Apple has previously made payments to companies in Mexico, Canada and the US to acquire the iPhone name from companies that had already registered it after first waging legal battles.

IGB Electronica has lost more than $260 million since 2018 and some have theorised its reviving the case in the hope of securing a payout.

Apple is surging towards a $2 trillion valuation.



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