The impact on Apple appears to be limited for the time being, however, as Apple is reportedly pursuing an appeal and can continue selling the iPhone under its present name in the country.
The INPI added that its decision only applied to handsets, and that the California-based company continued to have exclusive rights to use the iPhone name elsewhere including on clothing, in software and across publications.Apple's case hinged on the fact that Gradiente had not launched a product with the "iPhone" name until late last year, despite having applied for the trademark over a decade earlier. Trademark officials did not, however, agree that IGB/Gradiente should be stripped of the rights to the mark.
Apple can also continue to sell iPhone-branded handsets in what is Latin America's biggest market - however, Gradiente has an option of suing for exclusivity.
Gradiente noted last week that it was open to selling the rights to the iPhone trademark to Apple, but it appears that the dispute may continue through appeals and lawsuits for some time before a settlement might be reached.