Apple Loses iPhone Trademark in Brazil

Regulators in Brazil ruled against Apple saying the company doesn't have the right to use the iPhone name in the country. Instead, the name belongs to IGB Eletrônica SA who registered the name several years before Apple and is now making an Android OS-based phone it called IPHONE.

Apple loses iPhone name to IGB Electronica in BrazilApple loses iPhone name to IGB Electronica in Brazil

For now, Apple can continue selling its iPhone in Brazil, although IGB Eletrônica does have the option to sue for exclusivity should it choose to follow that path, according to the BBC.

IGB Eletrônica launched its IPHONE Neo One Android phone in December 2012 for about US$300 under its Gradiente brand and followed up by saying the two iPhone brands "can't coexist in the market." It looks like Brazilian trademark regulators agreed, because they sided with IGB.

The ruling doesn't, however, mean Apple is dead in Brazilian waters. The other iPhone maker is apparently appealing the ruling and could still strike a deal where it buys the rights to the iPhone name from IGB Eletrônica -- which may be exactly what the company has been hoping Apple would do since its executives previously stated, "We're open to a dialogue for anything, anytime... we're not radicals."

Until Apple and IGB Eletrônica sort out who can use the iPhone name in Brazil it's likely at least a few shoppers will buy the Android-based model thinking their getting a Cupertino product, so it seems likely Apple will do what it can to reach a quick -- and favorable -- resolution to the situation.