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Apple loses exclusive iPhone trademark in Brazil after regulator ruling

Posted By Kristen Butler, UPI.com   |   Feb. 13, 2013 at 12:49 PM   |   Comments

Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Apple has officially lost exclusive rights over the use of the iPhone trademark in Brazil, according to the BBC. Regulators sided with Brazilian company Gradiente Electronica and revoked Apple’s exclusive ownership of the term “iPhone” as it relates to electronic devices.

The Brazilian Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) explained that its decision means Apple can still sell its own iPhone with that name in Brazil, unless or until IGB exercises its option of suing for complete, exclusive control over the trademark. Apple wanted full exclusive rights to use the iPhone name not just on handsets but clothing, software, and publications. They sued for exclusivity on the grounds that IGB had not used the trademark until December 2012 when they released an Android-based handset also called the iPhone.

Gradiente actually registered the name seven years before Apple’s device launched, however. Apple is appealing the ruling, according to the INPI. Gradiente Electronica earlier expressed interest in the idea of selling the trademark to Apple for its exclusive use, but it seems Apple wants to continue a legal claim before negotiating with the Brazilian company.

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