Despite having the most well known version of the iPhone, Apple actually doesn’t own the name iPhone in every country on Earth. This has caused Apple problems in the past, including a well known law suit in China where Apple shelled out $60 million to keep the iPad name. It appears a company in Brazil is causing similar problems.
Brazilian consumer electronics company Gradiente Eletronica SA apparently owns the iPhone name. According to Reuters, Gradiente Electronica actually filed for rights to the name back in 2000. That is years before the first iPhone.
According to reports, the Brazil copyright regulator will strip Apple of its iPhone rights in Brazil so Gradiente Electronica can use it. At least in Brazil. So what has the Brazilian electronics company decided to use it on? Why, on an Android powered device which will be dubbed the iPhone. The irony is strong with this one.
Everything in their power, we’d imagine. The last time this happened, they forked out $60 million to keep the iPad name in China. So there’s no doubt that Apple will take to the courtroom to try to block this from happening. If they happen to fail, their next move will probably be to whip out ye olde checkbook and try to buy the rights.
Of course, this now begs the question of what they would care so much about an iPhone in Brazil. According to Digital Trends, Brazil has one of the fastest growing mobile markets in the world. It would be a real shame if Apple couldn’t compete there because iPhone was taken.
There will undoubtedly be more on this as it develops. Don’t be surprised if further developments include settlements and Apple getting the name back. Should Gradiente Electronica settle with Apple or keep the iPhone name for themselves? Let us know what you think of Apple’s latest conundrum.