The legal fight for the iPhone brand could resurface in Brazil


Luis Miranda – May 20, 2020 – 2: 00 (CET)

IGB Electrónica, the company that requested a registration of the “iPhone” trademark, wants to reverse the court's decision that allows Apple to use the name from 2012.

La pelea legal por la marca iPhone podría resurgir en Brasil

An old dispute over the brand iPhone would return to court in Brazil. IGB Electrónica, who registered “IPHONE” in 2000, took the case to the Supreme Court Federal last April. According to Tecnoblog , the local company went to highest seat of the Brazilian Judiciary to reverse the decision of 2013 where Apple is allowed to use the mark.

Electronic IGB requested a trademark registration “G Gradient iPhone” years before the iPhone existed. The National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) granted registration in 2008 and later Apple sought to override it in 2013 .

The legal fight between IGB Electronica and Apple concluded that the local company could not prevent iPhone sales in Brazil, although both would use the brand without exclusivity. The Supreme Federal Court of Brazil upheld the decision in 2018, now IGB seeks to reverse it with an appeal .

The report indicates that the trial would last for years , a situation unfavorable for IGB. The company is in judicial recovery to negotiate a debt that amounts to 160 millions of euros. For its part, Apple can use the brand for its devices without any problem , although not under the exclusivity scheme.

The iPhone with Android that is legal in Brazil

The Brazilian company announced in December 2012 on Gradiente iPhone , a low-end terminal.

The iPhone Gradient included a 3.7-inch screen and operating system Android 2.3.4. Among its particularities were a camera 5 megapixel, storage expandable to 32 GB and 3G connection with dual SIM support. All for a estimated price of 230 euros when it was released in early 2013.

In an interview with Bloomberg in February 2013, the President of IGB said They were open to selling the brand to Apple , although they were never contacted by the US company. In September of the same year, a court ruled in favor of Apple allowing it to use the name without infringing any kind of intellectual property.

Judge Eduardo de Brito argued that it would not be fair for Apple if the exclusivity of the brand were owned by IGB Electronica due to the difference between the two devices. Despite having registered the trademark, the Brazilian company waited 12 years to launch a mobile phone with an iPhone.

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