Brazilian Prosecutor General sides with Apple in “iPhone” trademark dispute with local OEM

Prosecutor General of Brazil, Augusto Aras has sided with Apple in its “iPhone” trademark dispute with the local electronic manufacturer, IGB Eletrônica (aka Gradiente).

In 2012, Gradiente launched a new smartphone called “Gradiente iphone” and consequently, the Cupertino tech giant requested the Brazilian trademark regulator to suspend Gradiente’s registration, and the legal battle between the two companies began.

iPhone 13

Therefore, in court, Apple accused Gradiente of profiting from iPhone’s clout by choosing to use the “iphone” trademark years after the smartphone’s launch because of iPhone’s success.

Although Gradiente lost the right to use “iphone” trademark, the company filed an appeal at the Supreme Court. And in 2020, the Brazilian Supreme Court approved Gradiente’s appeal to take Apple to trial over the “iphone” trademark dispute.

Prosecutor General asks the court to consider the “supervening context” of the Apple “iPhone” trademark case

According to the filing, Gradiente filed for the trademark “G Gradiente iphone” in 2000 before Apple. However, its registration was approved eight years later, in 2008, and by then, the Cupertino tech giant had already launched the first iPhone.

The only difference between the two trademarks is the capital and lower case p. Apple uses capital P for “iPhone” and Gradiente wanted to use lowercase “p” in its “iphone” trademark.

Apple iPhone

Tilt reports that Prosecutor General Aras wrote to the Brazilian Supreme Court giving his assent to the Cupertino tech giant. He wrote that the court must consider the “supervening context” of this case and the trademark rights can not be granted based on which company filed for the trademark first.

He said that Apple’s iPhone has a significant impact on the global market, and the “iPhone” trademark belongs to the American tech giant.

However, it is up to the Brazilian Supreme Court judge to decide which company will be granted the trademark rights after a trial.

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