By Sumit Passary | Dec 19, 2012 01:23 PM EST
Brazilian electronics maker IGB Electronica SA recently announced its new Android phones with 'IPHONE' brand, a trademark that was originally applied by the company in Brazil in 2000.
"The first model will be called "Neo One," IGB said in a securities filing. The company was formed this year after the restructuring of Gradiente Eletronica SA, which had applied for exclusive rights in Brazil to register its products under the name IPHONE in 2000," reported Reuters.
Apple was involved in a similar trademark dispute in China, with Proview owning the iPad trademark. Apple ended up paying Proview $60 million to gain control of the iPad trademark.
"The filing said Gradiente had foreseen the revolution in the convergence of voice and data over the Internet at the time, before Apple Inc's iPhone existed. In 2008, the company secured rights to the name from a local regulator of patents," reported Reuters.
The Gradiente iphone Neo One is available in Brazil for just 599 Brazilian Real (around $285). The Neo One has a 3.7-inch touch-capacitive display with 320 x 480 pixels resolution. A 700MHz processor powers the Neo One. The smartphone has 32GB of on-board storage with an option to expand to a further 2GB.
The Neo One runs on Android 2.3.4 and is equipped with a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera. The device also has Bluetooth, 3G, and Wi-Fi.
The Neo One 4.72 x 2.40 x 0.46 inches and weighs 4.58 gms and from Gradiente's Web site it seems that the smartphone is available in black and white colors, just like the iPhone.
The specifications and pricing of the Gradiente iphone Neo One is no-where near to Apple's iPhone but the name "iPhone" may cause confusion amongst the shoppers and possible discomfort to Apple.
A lawsuit from Apple against the Brazilian firm seems inevitable. However, it will be interesting to see if the resolution of the lawsuit is similar to Apple's and Proview trademark dispute in China.