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Apple loses iPhone naming rights in Brazil, report says

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Brazil's National Industrial Property Institute (INPI) on Monday reportedly rejected an Apple claim for exclusive "iphone" naming rights in the country, noting that the mark was filed for by a local electronics company in 2000.

Gradiente iphone
Gradiente's Android-based iphone. | Source: Gradiente


Citing people familiar with the matter, local publication Folha de S.Paulo reported on Tuesday that the INPI ruled Brazilian electronics maker IGB, which was awarded rights to "iphone" under the Gradiente brand in 2008 after filing for it in 2000, will retain exclusive rights to the trademark. There has yet to be official word regarding the decision, however, as technical problems with INPI's Intellectual Property Magazine have pushed back a scheduled announcement to Feb. 13.

In an interview with Bloomberg, IGB Chairman Eugenio Emilio Staub said Apple has not contacted the company.

?We?re open to a dialogue for anything, anytime,? Staub said. ?We?re not radicals.?

INPI Spokesman Marcelo Chimento confirmed a ruling had been made, but declined to share details regarding the decision.

A follow-up report from Reuters corroborates the Brazilian publication's claims, adding that IGB Electronica SA, a company created after a restructuring of Gradiente, launched its own "iphone" smartphone in December. The device runs Google's Android operating system and retails for 599 reais, or about $302.

Apple sought exclusive rights to the "iPhone" moniker in 2006, eight months before the company launched the first iteration of the popular handset in 2007.
post #2 of 33
Apple gets a Brazilian!
post #3 of 33
Apple should call it the iSuckitBrazil
post #4 of 33
%u201CWe%u2019re open to a dialogue for anything, anytime,%u201D = $$$$$$$
post #5 of 33
Didn't Apple just set up a manufacturing facility in Brazil? How many Apple iPhones are sold in Brazil and South America (not counting the Contras? Time for Apple to renegotiate that contract.
post #6 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

Didn't Apple just set up a manufacturing facility in Brazil? How many Apple iPhones are sold in Brazil and South America (not counting the Contras? Time for Apple to renegotiate that contract.

My exact thought when I read this. I'd say that should amount to leverage but apparently not!
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #7 of 33
Very interesting. Apple's team will be forced to shake off the "i" standard and invent a strong, marketable identity for the SA phone. Could actually open things up a bit if they look at it positively.
post #8 of 33

Apple will pay what it takes to get the name.

 

Apple started the "i" thing in 1998 with the iMac. Afterwards, a couple other companies had the foresight (or luck!) to grab similar names that Apple ended up wanting as well. Such is life. Write the check!

post #9 of 33
Story is a little short on information; what did Gradient produce as an iphone prior to Apple's trademark request in 2006 up until the release of an android handset in 2011?
post #10 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjrkong View Post

Could actually open things up a bit .....

What does that mean?

post #11 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

Apple will pay what it takes to get the name.

Yes,

 

and considering they are not 'radicals', they'll obviously be very reasonable. (I  mean we know what them damn radicals are like

 

/s

post #12 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

Apple will pay what it takes to get the name.

 

Apple started the "i" thing in 1998 with the iMac. Afterwards, a couple other companies had the foresight (or luck!) to grab similar names that Apple ended up wanting as well. Such is life. Write the check!

 

 

IMAX (Image Maximum) predates (about 1971) iMac!

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post #13 of 33
'If' gradient didn't produce a mobile phone before 2011 called the iphone does Apple not have a case against them of 'passing off'
post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

What does that mean?

Perhaps he was thinking that it would give Apple an opportunity to come up with something new - either to replace the iPhone as a brand name - or to complement it with a product that perhaps is a lower cost model that would only be sold in specific countries such as Brasil. 

post #15 of 33

Let's hope this doesn't the buy out doesn't come close to a Proview price point!

post #16 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

Apple started the "i" thing in 1998 with the iMac. Afterwards, a couple other companies had the foresight (or luck!) to grab similar names that Apple ended up wanting as well. Such is life. Write the check!

 

Apple did not start the "i" thing.   Using "i" (lower or upper case) as a prefix meaning "internet" or "interactive" was pretty common in the industry, starting in the early '90s along with the growth and popularity of the internet.

 

Heck, that's why Apple's advertising agency pushed Jobs to use "iMac"... to go with the latest fad... instead of using the name that Jobs wanted, the "MacMan" ... which itself was a rather old fad at the time (adding "Man" on the end, because of the Sony Walkman).

post #17 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

 

Apple did not start the "i" thing.   Using "i" (lower or upper case) as a prefix meaning "internet" or "interactive" was pretty common in the industry, starting in the early '90s along with the growth and popularity of the internet.

 

Heck, that's why Apple's advertising agency pushed Jobs to use "iMac"... to go with the latest fad... instead of using the name that Jobs wanted, the "MacMan" ... which itself was a rather old fad at the time (adding "Man" on the end, because of the Sony Walkman).

Interim - Actually Steve Jobs called himself iCEO when he returned to Apple. I think that was 1997 and I am pretty sure it predated the release of the first iMac.

post #18 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

'If' gradient didn't produce a mobile phone before 2011 called the iphone does Apple not have a case against them of 'passing off'


There was a case between Cisco and Apple that was settled. Cisco actually had a trademark on iphone and a shipping product.

post #19 of 33
Originally Posted by paxman View Post
Interim - Actually Steve Jobs called himself iCEO when he returned to Apple. I think that was 1997 and I am pretty sure it predated the release of the first iMac.

 

He returned in '96, first iMac in '98, but I believe there was an "iProduct" from a third party in roughly '94-5… 

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

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post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

'If' gradient didn't produce a mobile phone before 2011 called the iphone does Apple not have a case against them of 'passing off'


There was a case between Cisco and Apple that was settled. Cisco actually had a trademark on iphone and a shipping product.
But that was before the iPhone actually shipped. I am surprised Cisco didn't have the trademark resolved.
post #21 of 33

Quick Apple trade mark Galaxy S and Nexus !!!

post #22 of 33

Foxconn probably shouldn't have opened up those factories in Brazil. Brazil should forget about a crappy, little local phone maker and recognize who has the clout and world wide name recognition, and which one is in Brazil's benefit to please. Apple should throw it's weight around more, and show these ridiculous countries who's the boss. Maybe they can bribe somebody, if that's how they do business down there.

 

And I also read that the Turkey iPad deal includes factories being built in that country too? Well, screw that too. Apple should tell all of these uppity countries to take a hike, if any of them demands that factories be built as part of any deals. Let them be stuck in the dark ages, using Brazilian "iPhones", which is in actuality an Android piece of garbage.

post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post


But that was before the iPhone actually shipped. I am surprised Cisco didn't have the trademark resolved.

I don't recall the details of it, just that they eventually settled. I think both were to continue using the name. They have a newsroom piece, but it's not that interesting.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Foxconn probably shouldn't have opened up those factories in Brazil. Brazil should forget about a crappy, little local phone maker and recognize who has the clout and world wide name recognition, and which one is in Brazil's benefit to please. Apple should throw it's weight around more, and show these ridiculous countries who's the boss. Maybe they can bribe somebody, if that's how they do business down there.

 

And I also read that the Turkey iPad deal includes factories being built in that country too? Well, screw that too. Apple should tell all of these uppity countries to take a hike, if any of them demands that factories be built as part of any deals. Let them be stuck in the dark ages, using Brazilian "iPhones", which is in actuality an Android piece of garbage.


As much as your comments are amusing, why would they automatically own the rights there? I've never heard of the other company, but I don't live in Brazil. Their claim might be completely valid.

post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Interim - Actually Steve Jobs called himself iCEO when he returned to Apple. I think that was 1997 and I am pretty sure it predated the release of the first iMac.

 

Even his "i-CEO" was just a humorous take-off of all the "i-this" and "i-that" words that flying around back then due to the rise of the internet and beginnings of interactive gizmos.

 

Not too long ago, I mentioned that I had once compiled a list of such i-names.  Well, I found them!  

 

Here for your viewing pleasure... never posted before... are at least 65 registered i-trademarks or usages that predated "iMac", and some surprisingly familiar ones all around it.   Notice, for example, how many "iPods" there have been.  

 

Almost all entries come from the USPTO trademark database.  I'm sure there are plenty more examples that I didn't find.  Enjoy!

 

Red = Apple trademark,  Blue = a name or trademark later used by Apple.

 

1987 - iNet (online storage)

 

1992 - iScreen (online computer manuals)
 
1993 - iTV (interactive TV)
1993 - ICONNECT (internet professionals)
 
1994 - iPod chair (internet equipped pod chair - Australia)
1994 - iBank (remote banking comms)
 
1995 - iCOMM (internet comms)
1995 - IMall (internet business)
1995 - iNET (internet comms)
1995 - ishop (internet store software)
1995 - IStore (internet shopping)
1995 - iRock (internet music radio)
1995 - I-SITE (internet comms)
1995 - I-FAX (internet to fax)
1995 - I-Central (internet consulting)
1995 - iFind (MCI directory)
1995 - IVIEW (interactive USAF viewer)
1995 - ICast (internet broadcasts)
1995 - iCity (internet hosting)
 
1996 - iHome (intelligent/interactive home)
1996 - iMessage (internet mail)
1996 - iRadio (interactive internet radio)
1996 - iBox (internet computer for home)
1996 - IBrowse (internet browser for Amiga)
1996 - i-Remote (internet TV remote control)
1996 - iBooks (interactive books)
1996 - iGames (internet gambling)
1996 - iMonitor (integrated systems monitor)
1996 - iKiosk (internet printer)
1996 - iName (internet addresses)
1996 - iPrint (internet printing)
1996 - iPhoto (internet printing)
1996 - iCall (internet comms)
1996 - iQuest (QWEST internet)
1996 - i-Page (paging handsets from internet)
1996 - iTel (internet media transfer)
1996 - I800 (internet directory)
1996 - I.CHALLENGE (internet gaming)
 
1997 - IMail (Internet Explorer Mail)
1997 - iWORLD (internet community)
1997 - iPoint (embedded Internet APIs)
1997 - iPump (internet reference design)
1997 - iMeter (internet meter reader)
1997 - I Antiques & I Collectibles
1997 - i-MAGIC (interactive learning)
1997 - iCube (internet kiosk)
1997 - IPostOffice
1997 - iRenaissance (internet software)
1997 - iCommunity (internet BBS)
1997 - iMatch (internet dating)
1997 - INote (internet note taker)
1997 - Iplay (internet games)
1997 - iPhone (internet phone)
1997 - IPAD (Internet Protocol ADapter box)
1997 - IPad (interactive notepad - Cross pens)
 
1998 - iMagic (interactive ad company)
1998 - iTourist (interactive ads)
1998 - iGovernment (info)
1998 - itravel (internet travel agency)
1998 - INews (internet news)
1998 - IView (interent adapter)
1998 - iAPP (internet job applications)
1998 - iAnnounce (internet announcements)
1998 - iInvite (internet invitations)
1998 - iNote (internet sticky notes)
1998 - iMac by Apple
1998 - imouse (interactive mouse)
 
1999 - idesk (internet management)
1999 - iform (internet data)
1999 - iTerm (internet web terminal)
1999 - i-Opener (internet web computer)
1999 - IPOD (internet protocol converter)
1999 - iNews24 (internet News site)
1999 - iCatalog (internet catalog)
1999 - iTours (internet tour booking)
1999 - iBook by Apple
1999 - iFrame (internet photo network)
 
2000 - ICard (internet bank card services)
2000 - iDirect (internet direct satellite link)
2000 - iVacation (internet home rentals)
2000 - iRad (internet radio)
2000 - iPAQ (internet computer)
2000 - iPod (internet kiosk - NJ company)
 
2001 - iTunes by Apple
2001 - iPod by Apple
 
AND FINALLY... my favorite preApple i-Trademark of them all...
A product that used ONLY the lowercase letter "i"...
 

 

Now you can see why Apple's ad agency wanted "iMac".  The internet was getting popular in the 1990s and so was "i-anything".


Edited by KDarling - 2/5/13 at 8:58pm
post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

As much as your comments are amusing, why would they automatically own the rights there? I've never heard of the other company, but I don't live in Brazil. Their claim might be completely valid.

 

I'm not a lawyer, and I'm not going to pretend to play one on the internet, but I believe that depending upon the country or jurisdiction, first to file does not always grant ownership over a name. Market dominance and name recognition could be a valid reason for Apple to have ownership.

post #26 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

 

I'm not a lawyer, and I'm not going to pretend to play one on the internet, but I believe that depending upon the country or jurisdiction, first to file does not always grant ownership over a name. Market dominance and name recognition could be a valid reason for Apple to have ownership.

 

In most countries, the first to file owns the name.  It can take years to get the registration canceled.  Thus trademark squatters hope major companies simply and quickly cough up the cash instead.

 

Even in the US, trademark squatters are becoming a problem.  Trademarks are very easy to file.  Then there's a short 30 day period after it's published in a weekly notice that anyone can challenge it.  

 

If the well known company doesn't notice within that time, they might have to wait for years (if the applicant keeps filing extensions) until the trademark is finally issued before they can file opposition again.  Usually after all that time, the applicant will instead lose the trademark from lack of use.  Either way, it can be a huge expensive delay for the well known company.

post #27 of 33

Hahahahah

 

Brazil is one of the biggest growth markets in the world part of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China).

 

Yet, Apple cant get its trademark name "iPhone" promoted.

 

What is worse is that the name was already taken by another smartphone powered by... wait for it.....Android.

 

How ironic. :D

"Like I said before, share price will dip into the $400."  - 11/21/12 by Galbi

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"Like I said before, share price will dip into the $400."  - 11/21/12 by Galbi

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post #28 of 33
I absolutely love everyone here who basically says "since the justice decision was against Apple, Appple should renegociate their contrats".

From what I read, a company filed for the name years before Apple did, and hence owns the name. Makes perfect sense to leverage this, otherwise how would you justify that Apple has a right to keep its trademark "iMac" if I suddenly decide to make iMacs in the US?

Moreover, even if their base was not justified for a reason we're not told here... a world where a company can just have justice say it's right regardless, or they'll "renegociate contracts" is a very, very dangerous world. Hello, Samsung, hello Microsoft, hello Boeing, hello dear banks, hello AT&T (I hear you intend to have a justice decision that prevents anyone who ever had a contract with you to ever move to another carrier?)... See what I mean?

So yeah, digitalclips, rob53 and others... think harder.
You might not even be allowed to carry an iPhone in such a world, due to the horrible damage to the item's reputation you carrying it would cause.

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

 

I'm not a lawyer, and I'm not going to pretend to play one on the internet, but I believe that depending upon the country or jurisdiction, first to file does not always grant ownership over a name. Market dominance and name recognition could be a valid reason for Apple to have ownership.

However, based on the court decision, you don't need to play lawyer. In Brasil ("depending on the country" as you said), Apple doesn't have ownership until they sign a check.

That's how things work, that's how Apple is protected from poachers, ad in this small case, that's how Apple has to write a check. Unfortunate for Apple shareholders, fortunate for the guys who had the intelligence to file early.

 

On top of it "market dominance and name recognition" seem to heavily favor big companies with huge pockets over small innovative companies. 

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

 

In most countries, the first to file owns the name.  It can take years to get the registration canceled.  Thus trademark squatters hope major companies simply and quickly cough up the cash instead.

 

Even in the US, trademark squatters are becoming a problem.  Trademarks are very easy to file.  Then there's a short 30 day period after it's published in a weekly notice that anyone can challenge it.  

 

If the well known company doesn't notice within that time, they might have to wait for years (if the applicant keeps filing extensions) until the trademark is finally issued before they can file opposition again.  Usually after all that time, the applicant will instead lose the trademark from lack of use.  Either way, it can be a huge expensive delay for the well known company.

In my opinion, it's the same issue as with domain names. Try to get a two-word (especially english) domain name... 

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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post #31 of 33

FWIW I posted news about this back in December.

http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/155154/google-to-debut-motorola-built-x-phone-next-year-takes-aim-at-apple-and-samsung/40#post_2250528

 

There's a little more about the story as well as the Brazilian iPhone description at the link I provided back then:

http://phys.org/news/2012-12-brazil-company-cellphones-iphone-brand.html

melior diabolus quem scies
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post #32 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

Story is a little short on information; what did Gradient produce as an iphone prior to Apple's trademark request in 2006 up until the release of an android handset in 2011?

Gradiente used to build TV sets, sound systems and, for a short time, licensed Nintendo consoles. Usually, they licensed technology from other companies (usually JVC) and thus they weren't that bad. They went through bad times in 2007 and stop producing anything. Since them they got some new investors and only now they are returning to ship products to the market.

 

Although they got the rights to use the iPhone brand by INPI (a National Agency in charge, among other things, to issue industrial trademarks), Apple can contest this in the court as Gradiente failed to ship this product for more than 10 years. However, this subject is more likely to be solved outside courts as Apple will loose more not selling phones and Gradiente seems to be willing to take any cash while trying to reinvent itself.

post #33 of 33

One note about US trademarks used in commerce...

 

Within about three years after application (it's supposed to only be six months -- but you can legally file lots of extensions), you have to actually use your trademark on a product or service, otherwise you lose the pending registration.

 

Anyone know the rules in Brazil?


Edited by KDarling - 2/6/13 at 7:30am
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