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Brazilian Supreme Court to judge the right to use the iPhone trademark in Brazil

The Brazilian Supreme Court has decided to receive a constitutional appeal and will judge whether Apple can use the “iPhone” trademark in Brazil, even if another company has submitted it first. 

The court’s president, Justice Dias Toffoli, accepted a request from the Gradiente Group, founded in 1964 by Eugenio Staub, to analyze the case. The Brazilian law firm Mauler Advogados represents the company and made the announcement.

In 2013 Apple lost the rights to its iPhone trademark in Brazil , but challenged the ruling by Brazil’s copyright regulator to prevent local firm Gradiente Eletronica SA from using the “iphone” brand name.

The regulator, Inpi, that the rights to the trademark belong to Gradiente, prompting California-based Apple to request that the decision be reviewed in Latin America’s largest market. Consumer electronics maker Gradiente had filed its request to use the “iphone” brand in 2000, seven years before Apple launched its smartphone, but received approval to use the trademark only in 2008.

The appellant, IGB Eletrônica S/A, communicated the Supreme Court’s recent decision to the market last Friday. The appeal questions the decision of the Federal Regional Court of the 2nd Region (Rio de Janeiro) which, despite attesting the good faith of IGB and rejecting Apple’s thesis that the term “iPhone” was merely descriptive of the product (as a synonym for “smartphone”) and therefore unregistrable, ruled in favor of the American company because it explored the brand most efficiently.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.