Just as we speculated last week, Apple has now officially lost exclusive right to use the trademark “iPhone” in Brazil if we are to believe a BBC report. The Brazilian Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) has ruled in favor of Brazilian electronics firm IGB Electronics SA which owned the rights for the name “iPhone” in Brazil since the early 2000′s.
Now, let us inform that this ruling does not mean Apple cannot sell the iPhone with the “iPhone” brand name. What this ruling means is that the American company cannot stop IGB Electronics S.A which has a line up of Android powered devices called the “iPhone” line from selling those phones with the same name. Apple wanted the exclusive rights to use the iPhone brand in Brazil -which has been turned down. That said, the ruling does give IGB with the option to press further and sue Apple to ensure that they get the exclusive rights for the brand.
Apple on its part says that IGB in spite of owning the trademark in Brazil had not actually used it until December 2012 when it launched its new “iPhone” branded phones. In the midst of all this, we are also hearing that IGB had earlier expressed an interest to sell the trademark to Apple for its exclusive use. However, Apple seems to be exploring all possible legal options before it decides to negotiate a deal.