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Apple close to resolving Brazilian iPhone trademark issues

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Apple reportedly is close to reaching an agreement with a Brazilian company that will see Apple granted the right to use the iPhone trademark in reference to consumer electronics in that country.

iPad


Brazil's largest daily newspaper, the Folha de S?o Paulo, reported (via Forbes) on Saturday that Apple and IGB Gradiente are looking to reach an "amicable solution" to the issue of the iPhone trademark. Gradiente holds exclusive rights to use the iPhone trademark, having registered the term in 2000, years before Apple introduced its bestselling handset.

Late in 2012, before its hold on the trademark was set to expire, Gradiente moved to release its own iPhone, an entry-level handset running Android 2.2 Gingerbread.

Apple initially filed suit seeking sole ownership of the trademark, arguing that Gradiente had not issued a phone under the brand until its trademark neared expiration. In February, the Brazilian National Industrial Property Institute rejected Apple's request, citing Gradiente's having registered the term years prior to Apple.

That ruling gave Gradiente sole rights to use the iPhone moniker with regard to smartphones. Apple still retained the right to use the brand in reference to software and other branding efforts.

Representatives for both parties have declined to comment, but both companies filed a document in court in Rio in late February requesting that the court suspend enforcement of the ruling until the two could find a peaceful solution to the problem. Now, a source with knowledge of the talks says the two companies are close to an agreement.

Should the suit issue reach resolution in the form of a cash settlement, it would not be the first time Apple has paid a company in order to secure the rights to a name it uses worldwide. In 2012, settled a suit with Chinese company Proview over the Chinese rights to the iPad trademark. Operating through a shell company, Apple had purchased the trademark from Proview for ?35,000. The Chinese company later protested the sale, claiming fraud by concealment, inducement, and intentional misrepresentation on Apple's part. The two companies eventually settled for $60 million.

The iPhone issue is not Apple's only trouble in Brazil, the largest market in South America. The company also faces a legal challenge claiming that the fourth-generation iPad, released only months after the third-generation model, is an example of planned obsolescence. That suit, should Apple be found guilty, could result in the company being required to compensate all Brazilian customers who bought the third-generation iPad.
post #2 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple initially filed suit seeking sole ownership of the trademark, arguing that Gradiente had not issued a phone under the brand until its trademark neared expiration. In February, the Brazilian National Industrial Property Institute rejected Apple's request, citing Gradiente's having registered the term years prior to Apple.

That ruling gave Gradiente sole rights to use the iPhone moniker with regard to smartphones. Apple still retained the right to use the brand in reference to software and other branding efforts.

That's not what was reported at the time. At the time, it was reported that the court simply rejected Apple's request for sole rights - and that without further action, both parties could use the trademark.

Of course, Gradiente might have gone back and asked for exclusive rights, but the earlier reports indicated that the ruling in the Apple case did not grant them.
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Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #3 of 12
They didn't use their trademark but did legal release a device so under the law I have to side with Gradiente despite their clear intention to get Apple to pay them for the iPhone name.

Who thinks it will be more than the $60 million Apple paid Proview (whom I don't think deserved a dime more than the original payment)? Brazil could be a big market for Apple but China is clearly more important. I'm going to guess $25.6 million.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider 
That ruling gave Gradiente sole rights to use the iPhone moniker with regard to smartphones. Apple still retained the right to use the brand in reference to software and other branding efforts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

At the time, it was reported that the court simply rejected Apple's request for sole rights - and that without further action, both parties could use the trademark.

That's not a subtle difference but I wonder how much that changes Apple's position as they'll want that branding all for themselves in either case.

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

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post #4 of 12
Planned obsolescence? I'd hate to be an Android vendor, then! They drop their devices like a hot potato and you stop getting feature updates--and even some basic security updates!--before you've even paid for the device! Now THAT is planned obsolescence!
http://theunderstatement.com/post/11982112928/android-orphans-visualizing-a-sad-history-of-support

Adding a lightning connector and a little speed bump? That's just common sense, and doesn't make an iPad 3 lose anything. You can't keep a 10 year old connector forever.
post #5 of 12
Quote:
-- a policy of planning or designing a product with a limited useful life, so it will become obsolete, that is, unfashionable or no longer functional after a certain period of time.

 

If Apple gets dinged with this, you would hope to see every phone manufacturer / car manufacturer / tech consumer good manufacturer get dinged as well.

post #6 of 12
Originally Posted by Satalite View Post
If Apple gets dinged with this, you would hope to see every phone manufacturer / car manufacturer / tech consumer good manufacturer get dinged as well.

 

Appliance manufacturer/clothing manufacturer/furniture manufacturer/television show writer/artist (any medium, any industry, any purpose)…

 

The initial claim is so mind-bogglingly stupid that it's inconceivable such a thing didn't result in the immediate public humiliation of the one who brought it up. 

 

And yet it will go to court. And Apple actually stands a chance of losing. Because people are that stupid these days.

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post #7 of 12

Sure they're close to "resolving" the issue... it's called "graft".

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post #8 of 12

"planned obsolescence."- does that apply to newspapers? well, I guess that you can use them to wrap your fish'n'chips.

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Late in 2012, before its hold on the trademark was set to expire, Gradiente moved to release its own iPhone, an entry-level handset running Android 2.2 Gingerbread.
 

 

Why not wait until the trademark expired? 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

That ruling gave Gradiente sole rights to use the iPhone moniker with regard to smartphones. Apple still retained the right to use the brand in reference to software and other branding efforts.
 
 
I agree that this was not reported the same in the original article! 
 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Should the suit issue reach resolution in the form of a cash settlement, it would not be the first time Apple has paid a company in order to secure the rights to a name it uses worldwide. In 2012, settled a suit with Chinese company Proview over the Chinese rights to the iPad trademark. Operating through a shell company, Apple had purchased the trademark from Proview for ?35,000. The Chinese company later protested the sale, claiming fraud by concealment, inducement, and intentional misrepresentation on Apple's part. The two companies eventually settled for $60 million.
 

 

Really? I find this absurd! So what they are saying is "If Apple came to us directly, we would have known to sell the trademark for more. Being that we originally did not know the value of the trademark, we are entitled to more money to compensate for our stupidity!" 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The iPhone issue is not Apple's only trouble in Brazil, the largest market in South America. The company also faces a legal challenge claiming that the fourth-generation iPad, released only months after the third-generation model, is an example of planned obsolescence. That suit, should Apple be found guilty, could result in the company being required to compensate all Brazilian customers who bought the third-generation iPad.
 

So you can't release new features as they become available for fear of 'planned obsolescence'? So all those who want Apple to update their products quicker, sorry, they can't do that. 

post #10 of 12
Brazil, the East Texas of South America.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Getz View Post

Why not wait until the trademark expired? 

Trademarks are different than patents and copyrights in that they need to be utilized or they can be lost. Their sole reason for releasing what is surely crap "iPhone" was to show proof they were utilizing the trademark, which further implies they have no other intention than getting Apple to pay them handsomly for its ownership.

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

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post #12 of 12
mo money, mo money, mo money!.... Show me the money!... ha, how money will "Procure" the process along... and import tariffs are so great that adding 20 or so dollars per unit to the Brazilian made iphones whould not make a difference... (if the imported iphones are double the cost and the brazilian made iphone are 25% more than the usa's price.. who will know the difference)
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