Brazilian Supreme Court to Determine If Apple Can Continue to Use 'iPhone' Trademark in Brazil

Apple is facing a trademark battle in Brazil as the Brazilian Supreme Court is set to determine whether Apple is allowed to use the iPhone trademark in Brazil.

gradiente iphone white
The Brazilian Supreme Court will rule on the issue following a constitutional appeal by IGB Electronica, an electronics company that registered the ‌iPhone‌ trademark in Brazil in 2000.

Under the name Gradiente, IGB Electronica 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.

There was a trademark battle and ultimately, Apple and IGB Electronica were both provided rights to use the name in the country. Since then, there's been continual back and forth fighting with each company attempting to gain exclusive rights to the trademark, but a 2018 decision upheld a 2013 ruling that gave both brands permission to use the trademark.

Earlier this year, IGB Electronica revived the dispute in an attempt to get the 2018 decision reversed by Brazil's Supreme Federal Court, and the court has agreed to hear the case. IGB argues that allowing Apple to use the trademark first filed by IGB "punishes creativity."

"Allowing a company to claim a trademark submitted in good faith by another one punishes creativity, distorts free competition and runs over Brazilian intellectual property authorities," says IGB's lawyer Igor Mauler Santiago in the petition. He also alleges the violation of free initiative and of trademarks protection, principles expressly prescribed in the Brazilian Constitution.

Apple has claimed that it was inappropriate for the National Institute of Industrial Property to grant the trademark to Gradiente in 2008 even though it was filed in 2000 because at that point, the ‌iPhone‌ existed.

It's not yet clear when the Brazilian Supreme Court will hear the case and come to a decision. IGB has been struggling for years and has lost close to 1 billion Brazilian Reals since 2018, so the ultimate goal may be a payout from Apple to end the dispute. Today's press release announcing the court's decision highlights commercial deals Apple has made in other countries to acquire rights to the ‌iPhone‌ trademark.

Apple's Brazilian dispute comes just after news that Apple has opposed the trademark application for Prepear, a recipe and meal planning app that uses a pear for an Apple logo. Apple fears people who encounter the pear logo will associate it with Apple.

Top Rated Comments

GeoStructural Avatar
16 months ago

I don’t know how many phones Apple sells in Brazil, but I bet the Apple Phone would sell just as well.

Let the morons have their iPhone trademark (obviously filed because of Apple’s popular iMac product line debuted in 1998).
How can you know for sure they had those intentions? This company was founded in the 60s, and its origin can be traced about 20 years before Apple even existed. They were also producing electronics when Steve Jobs was still in basic school.

They registered the brand name iPhone in 2000, 7 years before Apple released their product and they have been in the business ever since, not your average company troll.

When you say “obviously” and “popular” it is as baseless, just your conjecture. Macs are still not that prominent in Latin America, and 22 years ago in 1998 they had penetrated the market even less, Windows was (still is) king back then in Latin America.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Eriamjh1138@DAN Avatar
16 months ago
I don’t know how many phones Apple sells in Brazil, but I bet the Apple Phone would sell just as well.

Let the morons have their iPhone trademark (obviously filed because of Apple’s popular iMac product line debuted in 1998).
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GrumpyMom Avatar
16 months ago
Lol....well this is kind of amusing after reading Apple suing some little 5 person outfit over a pear logo that looks like a pear and only a pear.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SigEp265 Avatar
16 months ago
They should just pay IGB Electronica for the trademark. It's not like they can't afford it. And I'm betting IGB Electronica wouldn't mind a huge sum of money.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dwaltwhit Avatar
16 months ago
Yea it seems like it wouldn’t be toooo bad to brand it as ? phone in one country. I remember hearing of a pizza place in canada having copywrited the phrase “pizza pizza” so Little caesars in that region had to switch to “pizza 2 times!”
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Altivec88 Avatar
16 months ago

I don’t know how many phones Apple sells in Brazil, but I bet the Apple Phone would sell just as well.

Let the morons have their iPhone trademark (obviously filed because of Apple’s popular iMac product line debuted in 1998).
Yah, it all depends on the amount of sales. I'm sure it wouldn't be cheap to rebrand and produce a product for one specific country. Manufacturing, branding, OS, documentation, web presence, advertising, etc all have to be specialized. It might not be worth it and be cheaper to just pull out of Brazil.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Kuo: iPhone 13 to Feature LEO Satellite Communications to Make Calls and Texts Without Cellular Coverage

Sunday August 29, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 will feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity to allow users to make calls and send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage, according to the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the iPhone 13 lineup will feature hardware that is able to connect to LEO satellites. If enabled with the relevant...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
os x mountain lion macs 16x9 2

Apple Makes OS X Lion and Mountain Lion Free to Download

Wednesday June 30, 2021 12:19 pm PDT by
Apple recently dropped the $19.99 fee for OS X Lion and Mountain Lion, making the older Mac updates free to download, reports Macworld. Apple has kept OS X 10.7 Lion and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion available for customers who have machines limited to the older software, but until recently, Apple was charging $19.99 to get download codes for the updates. As of last week, these updates no...
bluetti eb70 main

MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Bluetti EB70 Portable Power Station and 200W Solar Panel

Friday September 3, 2021 11:13 am PDT by
For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with MAXOAK to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a Bluetti portable power station and an accompanying solar panel. Bluetti makes a range of portable power station options that are useful for camping, emergencies, power outages, off-grid living, and similar situations. The Bluetti EB70 is a solid middle of the road option that offers 716Wh and...
apple privacy

Apple Publishes FAQ to Address Concerns About CSAM Detection and Messages Scanning

Monday August 9, 2021 1:50 am PDT by
Apple has published a FAQ titled "Expanded Protections for Children" which aims to allay users' privacy concerns about the new CSAM detection in iCloud Photos and communication safety for Messages features that the company announced last week. "Since we announced these features, many stakeholders including privacy organizations and child safety organizations have expressed their support of...
General Spotify Feature

Spotify Pauses Plans to Add AirPlay 2 Support to iOS App [Update: Spotify Clarifies]

Friday August 6, 2021 9:07 am PDT by
See update at bottom of article Spotify this week confirmed that its plans to add AirPlay 2 support to its iOS app have been placed on indefinite hiatus. In an online discussion forum post, a Spotify representative said the streaming music service had been working on supporting AirPlay 2, but the company has paused the efforts "for now" due to "audio driver compatibility issues." The...
iphone 13 teal with text

Apple Begins Preparation for iPhone 13 Production Ahead of Fall Launch

Monday June 28, 2021 3:29 am PDT by
We're just a few months away from when Apple is expected to reveal the 2021 iPhone, dubbed the "iPhone 13." In preparation for its launch, it has been pulling in shipments of different components needed to produce the new iPhones, according to a report from DigiTimes. In years past, Apple released its latest iPhone lineup, alongside a new Apple Watch, during a September event at Apple Park....
General Spotify Feature

Spotify Partners With Delta to Provide Free In-Flight Music and Podcasts Service

Thursday September 2, 2021 12:59 am PDT by
Spotify has announced a new partnership with Delta that will see the streaming service take over the "audio" section of Delta's in-flight seatback entertainment, making select playlists and podcasts freely available to all passengers. You are now free to roam about the cabin—and get the music and podcasts you love at 30,000 feet. Beginning today, we're taking off in a new partnership with...
iphone 12 colors 2021

iPhone 12 Colors: Deciding on The Right Color

Thursday November 5, 2020 8:35 am PST by
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived in October 2020 in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both devices, as well as some popular classics. The 12 and 12 Pro have different color choices, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you might not be able to get your preferred model in that color. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone...