Connect to share and comment

Could Apple lose the iPhone trademark in Brazil? It may be possible

Local company registered "iphone" back in 2000, years before Apple released the incredibly popular device.

Smartphone facebook passwords iphoneEnlarge
An iPhone user enters her Facebook password. (SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Could Apple lose their iconic trademark of the phrase "iPhone?" in Brazil? Sources within the South American nation indicate such an eventuality might actually just come true.

Reuters reports that Brazilian company Gradiente Eletronica SA registered the term "iphone" back in 2000, years before the vaunted 2007 release of Apple's iPhone to the general public.

Read more from GlobalPost: Charging your iPhone? Now there's a hat for that.

Gradiente Eletronica then restructured into IGB Eletronica SA — and launched its own "iphone" in December, running off the Android operating system.

Unfortunately for Apple, it gets worse: Fast Company reports that Brazil's IP authorities may strip Apple of the right to use the term "iPhone" for their own devices.

It's currently unknown how Apple will react, though it's assumed that they will appeal.

IGB Eletronica told Bloomberg recently that it was open to selling the naming rights of the device to Apple — for a fee.

“We’re open to a dialogue for anything, anytime,” said IGB chairman Eugenio Emilio Staub to Bloomberg. “We’re not radicals.”

Here's a slideshow of what the Brazilian "iphone" looks like in the flesh:

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business/technology/130206/could-apple-lose-the-iphone-trademark-brazil-it-may-be-poss