Poor old Apple. It’s had a handful of name-related problems across the globe, with a Chinese firm recently laying claim to the name iPad and causing the Californians no shortage of grief.
On a similar note, a Brazilian firm claims it has the right to sell products with the name iPhone, and – much to Apple’s chagrin – regulators agree.
Gradiente Eletronica made waves when it launched its Android-powered “iphone” (note the lower case 'p') in December, a move that – on the face of it – might seem incredibly ballsy, especially given Apple’s willingness to launch legal action at the drop of a hat.
However, crucially, Gradiente Eletronica registered the name back in 2000, six years before Apple.
Team Cook can continue to sell iPhones in Brazil, however there’s a chance that Gradiente Eletronica might sue for exclusivity.
On the plus side for Apple, several other applications were approved, pertaining to education, software development, clothing and advertising.
Apple will of course appeal, and has already pointed out that it took Gradiente Eletronica 12 years to use the name iPhone. There’s talk of some sort of five-year limit, with Gradiente Eletronica clearly missing the cut-off – if it does indeed apply.
We’ll inevitably hear more on this in the coming weeks. Ah well, at least it’s more interesting than the same-old Apple/Samsung moaning.