Apple has lost a trademark ruling in Brazil which has resulted in the company not being awarded the exclusive rights to the iPhone trademark in that country.
Apple has already appealed the ruling by Brazilian regulators the Institute of Industrial Property (INPI). Local company Gradiente Eletronica registered a trademark for G Gradiente iphone in 2000, which was then approved in 2008. Apple applied for the iPhone trademark in Brazil in 2006 and it was partially approved, for everything but phones.
INPI spokesman Marcelo Chimento said in a statement “I can confirm that INPI published today its decisions about eight trademark applications related to iPhone, from Apple: four applications were rejected and other four were approved.”
Apple is still permitted to sell handsets in Brazil but the ruling means that Gradiente Eletronica can sue for exclusivity of the trademark in the country. The INPI said that Apple argued that, since the Brazilian company did not make use of the trademark to produce a product until December 2012, they should have been given full rights to the trademark.