Firm Owning 'IPHONE' Trademark in Brazil Open to Selling Mark to Apple
The owner of the iPhone trademark in Brazil, IGB Eletronica SA, said it would consider selling the naming rights to Apple Inc.Brazil's Institute for Industrial Property confirmed this week that IGB has exclusive rights to the 'iphone' mark as it relates to mobile phones. Apple had requested exclusive use of the word in 2006, but the request was not granted because IGB's trademark dated back to 2000.
“We’re open to a dialogue for anything, anytime,” said Eugenio Emilio Staub, chairman of IGB, in an interview in Sao Paulo. “We’re not radicals.”
Apple has sold the iPhone in Brazil for several years, but with this ruling it appears Apple will need to negotiate with IGB for the right to use the 'iPhone' mark. A similar situation occurred in China last year. Proview Technology owned the Chinese trademark to "iPad" and eventually sold the mark to Apple for $60 million.