Yes! You read it right. iPhone is no more an Apple iPhone.
When? Where? Why? If these questions have already started boiling up in your mind, then this piece of news will put facts straight for you. A new report is doing rounds in the marketplace, which suggests that Apple has officially lost its iPhone trademark in Brazil. The Brazilian patent authorities ruled on Wednesday that the famed name did not belong to Apple. Instead, it falls in the kitty of a local company that requested for the use of the brand years before Apple launched its much-hyped gadget.
The report has been sourced from BBC, which has cited a conversation with the officials of the patent authority, Institute of Industry Property (INIP). The officials stated that local manufacturer Gradiente Electronica had registered for the patent of the name âiphoneâ back in 2000. This ruling from INIP came out just a week after the release of reports that suggested that the regulatory body is most likely to award the exclusive rights of iPhone trademark to Gradiente.
Though Gradiente had patented the name 12 years back, the company did not launch its device bearing the name until last December when it started to sell Android devices under the name iPhone, a rumple which Apple was to use as its winning arsenal in the branding strife. Presently, the rights for the use of the name iPhone in Brazil are reserved with Gradiente until 2018.
The ruling is only applicable in the Brazilian market. However, it is doesnât restrict Apple from selling its phones in the country. Now, Gradiente reserves the right to sue the California based firm Cupertino for the exclusivity of the handsets.
Apple doesnât have any physical retail stores in Brazil. The company sells its products in the Brazilian marketplace through authorized mobile operators, resellers and its official website. Though, Apple is looking forward to set up its first retail store in Brazil in Rio De Janerio. Speculations are high that this infringement issue might put the launch of this store in a back gear. Apple authorities are unavailable for any comments.
Patent and trademark battles are not newfound for Apple. Back in 2007, the smart phone giant settled a lawsuit with Cisco Systems that was related with the trademark-infringement of iPhone moniker that was originally owned by Cisco. In another lawsuit last year, Apple had to shell out $60 Million to settle a trademark infringement issue with China-based Company Proview over its device iPad.
Gradiente has not cleared its intentions yet, whether it wants to settle the case and bag some handsome amount in return or it wishes to maintain the exclusivity of the name iPhone with itself. However, a report that came out last week quoted a Gradiente official as saying that the company is open to a dialogue, if Apple wishes the same.
Apple hasnât released any official statement on this INIP ruling yet.
The company is expected to make a move soon in order to save its sales from dipping in one of the most lucrative markets. Apple doesnât release an official record of its sales in Brazil, but according to the research firm IDC, the Latin American country is expected to emerge as worldâs fourth largest smart phone market by the year 2016.
Guest Author John pitt is a blogger cum i-phone developer for a leading i-phone development company which Hire i-phone developers for outsourcing. He provides concrete information about PHP, .Net/Java apps development, software development & mobile applications development.