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Apple secures rights to use 'iPhone' moniker in Brazil after successful court appeal

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Apple has finally cleared up a naming rights issue for the iPhone in Brazil after a judge ruled against a local company that claimed to have exclusive ownership of the moniker due to a trademark filed in 2000.

Gradiente
Gradiente's upcoming Android-based "Novo iphone." | Source: Gradiente


A decision handed down by Judge Eduardo de Brito Fernandes on Tuesday denied Brazilian electronics firm IGB Gradiente's request to retain exclusive "iPhone" naming rights in the country, repoorts CNET. Instead, the jurist called the iPhone "world renowned," and said forcing Apple to relinquish ownership of the name would be unfair.

"All the (Apple) product's renown and client following have been built on its performance and excellence as a product," Judge Fernandes said on Wednesday. He also noted Apple's worldwide reputation with the iPhone product lineup, adding that Gradiente's implementation is merely a conjunction of the words "internet" and "phone."

In February, Apple's iPhone trademark came under fire in Brazil when the National Industrial Property Institute ruled against the company's claim to exclusivity within the country's borders. At the time, it was decided that Gradiente would have rights to the mark, which was registered years before Apple released its hugely successful smartphone.

Gradiente's 2000 trademark, which was actually granted in 2008, went unused until it was set to expire in 2012. To keep hold of the name, the company released an Android-based handset called the "Gradiente iphone."

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.
A subsequent report in March claimed Apple and Gradiente were working toward an amicable solution, but it appears the Cupertino company chose the legal route instead.

Novo iphone


The company is planning to release a next-generation "iphone" in October and, as seen above, pits the device directly against Apple's last-generation iPhone 5 on its website.

Gradiente is expected to appeal this week's ruling, but for now it will have to share rights to "iPhone" with Apple.
post #2 of 20

Duh. *pounds gavel*

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Originally Posted by Marvin

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post #3 of 20

They should have just taken the money like Intel did.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #4 of 20
I'm surprised that IGB Gradiente lost their 2000 iPhone trademark exclusivity because another company made it famous years later. They should have settled for a few million dollars with Apple and walked away. Instead they swung for a home run and wiffed.
Edited by jd_in_sb - 9/27/13 at 5:44pm

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post #5 of 20
Looking at the spec sheet, the Gradiente is clearly the superior product!
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

I'm surprised that IGB Gradiente lost their 2000 iPhone trademark exclusivity because another company made it famous years later.

 

I'm not.  That's what happens when you don't use your Trademark.  That's how Cisco originally lost the iPhone trademark to Apple.  They just let it sit on a shelf, and when the iPhone came out, they hastily put together some marketing materials of an "iPhone" even though it wasn't a shipping product.  Use it or lose it.

post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by the cool gut View Post

I'm not.  That's what happens when you don't use your Trademark.  That's how Cisco originally lost the iPhone trademark to Apple.  They just let it sit on a shelf, and when the iPhone came out, they hastily put together some marketing materials of an "iPhone" even though it wasn't a shipping product.  Use it or lose it.

1) They meet the legal deadline to utilize their trademark. Are you saying the law no longer matter when it comes to trademarks?

2) I don't recall Cisco losing their trademark to Apple from lack of use despite being within their legal deadline. I recall Apple making a deal with Cisco right before the iPhone announcement and Cisco, still within their legal right, labeling a product iPhone before the deal was signed and filing a lawsuit, which ultimately was dropped as Cisco agreed to let Apple use the name without it ever getting to a judge. I do not recall a judge saying "your product isn't as popular" and "screw the law and screw the legal deadline for use I'm just going to give to Apple because there product is more popular." I can't imagine you remember it that way as well.
post #8 of 20
This is how all patent/copyright/trademark laws should work.
post #9 of 20
I'm not familiar with Brazilian trademark law, but in the U.S., there are Trademarks and Registered Trademarks. You have almost no protection with a Trademark. You can only get a Registered Trademark once you prove usage. That's when the TM becomes an (R).

Under those circumstances, since the Brazilian company didn't actually use the trademark on a product until 2012, Apple would indeed have had precedence, if the same law applied.

If you didn't base trademarks on actual usage, you would have companies trademarking every name they could and then suing anyone who dared to use any of them. We have enough problems with patents. We don't need to extend those same problems to trademarks.

If the Brazilian company had actually produced a related product with that name before the first iPhone was released, then I would agree that they should have retained the right to that name in Brazil. While we don't know what went on behind the scenes, it's hard to believe that Apple didn't offer them something. It probably was far more money than they'd ever make selling phones. They should have taken it.
post #10 of 20
Quote:
 Originally Posted by akqies View Post


1) They meet the legal deadline to utilize their trademark. Are you saying the law no longer matter when it comes to trademarks?

 

If you don't use your trademark, yes you can lose it.

 

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/burnette/cisco-lost-rights-to-iphone-trademark-last-year-experts-say/236

post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by the cool gut View Post


You completely ignored my comments about the legal deadline, utilizing the trademark within the stated deadline, and implied that laws no longer matter.
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by akqies View Post


You completely ignored my comments about the legal deadline, utilizing the trademark within the stated deadline, and implied that laws no longer matter.

 

You can lose your trademark if you don't use it.  I posted a link showing that this in fact happened to Cisco.  I don't really understand what your issue is - it's pretty simple.

post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by the cool gut View Post

You can lose your trademark if you don't use it.  I posted a link showing that this in fact happened to Cisco.  I don't really understand what your issue is - it's pretty simple.

Yes, I thought it was simply but you decided to attack my comment clearly stating that you can lose a trademark if you don't use it by informing me in the most asinine way that exactly what I stated, except with less detail, that I what I stated can happen. You still don't seem to realize that you have a time frame in which you need to utilize a trademark (as well as a need to defend a trademark or risk it losing it) and this company as well as Cisco back in 2007 both at least utilized their trademarks within the confines of the stated legal requirement. This is pretty füçking simple and spelled out on many, many sites.
Edited by akqies - 10/3/13 at 9:17pm
post #14 of 20
There is no point in arguing with you because clearly you know jack sh*t about trademark law. Both cases involving the iPhone trademark prove I'm right and your wrong. Deal with it.
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by the cool gut View Post

There is no point in arguing with you because apparently you know jack sh*t about trademark law. Both cases involving the iPhone trademark prove I'm right and your wrong. Deal with it.

I know enough that you have time frames in which to use it so that going a day without a product on the market does not invalidate it, and I know that there are other considerations, like not defending your trademark, that can force you to lose it even if you are using it in a limited capacity. That's clearly a lot more than you are aware.
post #16 of 20
We are not talking "a day" in either case here. You go years without actually selling anything and it can be taken from you if someone else has a shipping product.

Perfect example right here: http://trademarkem.com/if-you-dont-use-your-bling-you-lose-your-bling
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by the cool gut View Post

We are not talking "a day" in either case here. You go years without actually selling anything and it can be taken from you if someone else has a shipping product.

Perfect example right here: http://trademarkem.com/if-you-dont-use-your-bling-you-lose-your-bling

You made no statement of how long they went between usage or if they went past their allowed deadline. Instead you simply said "You can lose your trademark if you don't use it." after I had stated in much more detail the same thing. You comment also allows for any time frame to be allow a trademark to be lost. You also linked to a single article about what an "expert" thinks despite Cisco still having using that trademark after that article's date and a noted deal between Cisco and Apple that allows both of them to use it (why would Apple do that if Cisco had no rights to it?) that is listed right on Apple's very own public relations site and yet you have failed to acknowledge.

http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2007/02/21Cisco-and-Apple-Reach-Agreement-on-iPhone-Trademark.html

1oyvey.gif
post #18 of 20
Apple signed a deal with Cisco because it was the faster and cheaper than going through the courts. Apple payed nothing for the trademark. They let Cisco keep using the trademark knowing full well they never actually would use it (and they where right)
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by the cool gut View Post

Apple signed a deal with Cisco because it was the faster and cheaper than going through the courts. Apple payed nothing for the trademark. They let Cisco keep using the trademark knowing full well they never actually would use it (and they where right)

You jumped from making foolishly simplistic statements to claiming details that neither Cisco nor Apple have ever stated. WTF is wrong with you?
post #20 of 20
Cisco got raped on the deal and the whole world knows it. If they made any money from such a valuable trademark they would have said so. Again, you are out of your depth here and now look - I've made you look a blimmin' fool.
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