Brazilian Electronics Company Revives Long-Running iPhone Trademark Dispute

Apple has been involved in a long-running iPhone trademark dispute in Brazil, which was revived today by IGB Electronica, a Brazilian consumer electronics company that originally registered the "‌iPhone‌" name in 2000.


IGB Electronica fought a multi-year battle with Apple in an attempt to get exclusive rights to the "‌iPhone‌" trademark, but ultimately lost, and now the case has been brought to the Supreme Federal Court in Brazil, according to Brazilian site Tecnoblog (via Reddit).

IGB Electronica under the name Gradiente produced a line of IPHONE-branded Android smartphones in Brazil in 2012, and there was a period of time where the Brazilian company was given exclusive rights to the ‌iPhone‌ trademark. That ruling didn't last, though, and Apple and IGB ultimately both wound up with rights to use the name in the country.

Apple has sought to prevent IGB from using the trademark, while IGB has been attempting to regain its exclusive access to the branding. A decision in 2018 upheld a 2013 ruling that gave both brands permission to use the trademark.

With the most recent lawsuit, IGB is aiming to reverse that 2018 decision, but the case could take years to get a ruling from the Supreme Federal Court in the country. IGB has been in judicial recovery since 2018 and has lost close to 1 billion Brazilian Reals, so the company may be hoping for a payout from Apple to end the dispute.

Top Rated Comments

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18 weeks ago


This random company decided FIVE YEARS after the release of the iPhone that they wanted to sell a competing product in their domestic market with the exact same name?
No wonder they never won.

To be fair to them, the article says they had registered the iPhone name in the year 2000.

SEVEN YEARS Later, Apple introduces a product onto the market and decided to also call it iPhone.

The company who had the name Seven Years before got a bit miffed about the situation.
Can't really blame them can you?

What if Apple had the iPhone name registered 7 years earlier and then another company used the same name?
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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18 weeks ago
Sounds like they just wanted to give their lawyers something to do, tbh.

We're all a bit bored in these coronavirus days.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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18 weeks ago
Let’s not forget Apple paid Cisco for the trademarked name iPhone, and they had IOS before as well
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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18 weeks ago
It's always funny when Apple fanatics lose their minds over other companies infringing on Apple's patents, trademarks, IP, etc, but when Apple does it to a smaller business then suddenly it's fair game and those small companies should just suck it up close up shop.

I don't understand how Apple hasn't lost this one yet. Just pay the company a ******** of money for rights to use it, they own the trademark fair and square.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
18 weeks ago
This random company decided FIVE YEARS after the release of the iPhone that they wanted to sell a competing product in their domestic market with the exact same name?
No wonder they never won.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
18 weeks ago


Sounds like they just wanted to give their lawyers something to do, tbh.

We're all a bit bored in these coronavirus days.

I think it really sounds like they are hoping for a pay day via strike suit. :-)
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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