Brazil’s trademark regulator will strip Apple Inc of the right to utilize its iPhone logo in Latin America’s largest market and granted the logo to a local firm that registered it 1st, a source familiar with the judgement said on Tuesday.
Gradiente Eletronica SA, a Brazilian electronic devices producer, registered the “iphone” name in 2000, 7 years before Apple unveiled its now virally well-known smartphone. The Brazilian Institute of Intellectual Property will formally declare its decision on February 13, the source said.
Apple could then challenge the judgment in the Brazilian courts. A spokesman with Apple in Brazil refused to comment. With a swelling middle-class anxious to go online, Brazil is among the fastest-growing markets for cell phones on earth. IGB Eletronica SA, a firm formed after the restructuring of Gradiente, unveiled its “iphone” line of smartphones last December.