Apple To Lose iPhone Trademark?

By Anu Passary email: | Feb 08, 2013 09:30 PM EST

The company with the Midas touch, Apple, is synonymous with the iPhone; however, the Cupertino-based company is in danger of losing its iPhone trademark in Brazil.

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According to a Reuters report, Gradiente Eletronica SA (a Brazilian consume electronics maker) had registered the "iphone" name way back in 2000, seven years prior to Apple launching its iconic smartphone.

Even though Gradiente didn't launch its Android-run "iphone" until last December, legally the Brazilian company holds the trademark in the country. The copyright laws will be in Gradiente's favor and not Apple's, which may result in the latter losing the iPhone name in Brazil.

"Brazil's copyright regulator will strip Apple Inc of the right to use its iPhone trademark in Latin America's biggest market and granted the trademark to a local company that registered it first, a source familiar with the decision said on Tuesday," reported Reuters.

Reuters "source" also let on that the Brazilian Institute of Intellectual Property will announce its decision on Feb. 13. If the ruling is not in Apple's favor, then the company can challenge the decision in court.

Apple has been embroiled in legal tussles with several companies over the years. In 2007, prior to the launch of its iPhone, Apple wrested the rights for the iPhone name from Cisco Systems. Subsequently, Cisco sued Apple and the two eventually settled the dispute in Feb. 2007.

As it stands, Apple has chosen to stay mum on the matter and an official declined to comment. On the other hand, per a Techno Buffalo report, Gradiente said that it is "open to dialogue."

With the Feb. 13 date not far away, we'll soon know what ensues: whether the decision is in Apple's favor, or if it will lose the rights to the iPhone name in one of the biggest emerging markets.

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