You may remember that we brought you the news in December that Brazilian mobile phone maker Gradient (IGB) was releasing a new device called the iPhone. We said that Apple was probably going to be unhappy with that name, and so it proved, but today it is Gradient who has won the right to use the name in Brazil.
It is unclear if Apple is now banned from using the iPhone branding in the South American country, but it is certain that Gradient have the rights to use the name. In fact the company first filed for the iPhone name in 2000, a full 7 years before Apple released its product.
The first Gradient phone to wear the iPhone name landed in December, and Apple swiftly made 11 applications to the Patent and Trademark Office. However, the Journal of Industrial Property of the INPI which was due to be released today was to say that Apple’s applications had failed.
That final confirmation was then put back until February 13th, but it is certain that the ruling will stand and Gradient will win the right to use the iPhone brand name. Gradient have held the exclusive rights to the name since 2008, Apple has declined to comment so we will have to wait and see what the company does next.