September 25, 2013
A Brazilian judge has ruled that Apple may use the “iPhone” name in the South American country. This followed a lengthy back and forth between Cupertino and Brazil’s IGB Electronica, which wanted to keep using the name exclusively, according to CNET. Judge Eduardo de Brito Fernandes has ruled that Apple’s iPhone is “world renowned.” He indicated that giving IGB phone exclusive rights to the name wouldn’t be fair to Apple since “"all the (Apple) product's renown and client following have been built on its performance and excellence as a product." IGB applied for the “iPhone” trademark in Brazil in 2000. However, it wasn’t until December 2012 that they actually released a phone. The device, called the Gradient, was released just one month before the iPhone trademark was due to expire. Fernandes said that Apple and IGB must now share the iPhone name in Brazil. Apple has had a complicated relationship with Brazil. The iPhone remains very expensive in the country due to exchange rate fluctuations. Earlier this year, the Brazilian Institute of Politics and Law Software (IBDI) filed suit against Apple, claiming that the quick release of the iPad with Retina display in 2012 constituted “planned obsolescence” with regards to its predecessor. IGB plans to appeal the iPhone trademark ruling.