A display for the iPhone 5 is pictured at Apple's flagship retail store in San Francisco, California in this January 23, 2013  photo.  - Reuters Photo

Wed Feb 13, 2013 - Brazil's copyright regulator on Wednesday stripped Apple Inc of the right to use its iPhone trademark in that country, the Wall Street Journal reported on its website on Wednesday.

The agency that oversees patents in Brazil said Gradiente Electronica SA, a Brazilian consumer electronics maker, already owned the rights to the iPhone name, according to the report.

Apple will be able to challenge the ruling in the Brazilian courts.

Earlier this month, sources told Reuters that the regulator, the Brazilian Institute of Intellectual Property, was likely to make the decision that Apple did not have the rights to the trademark.

Gradiente Electronica registered the "iphone" name in 2000, seven years before Apple launched its popular smartphone.

A spokesperson for Apple in the United States was not immediately available to comment.

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Comments (1) Closed

Tee Eleven
Feb 14, 2013 07:43pm
Apple did not lose the right to use the iPhone trade mark in Brazil... they lost the exclusive right. There is a huge difference. The result of the decision allows Apple to continue selling handsets under the iPhone brand name in Brazil, but confirmed Gradiente Electronica as the trade mark owner. What that means is that Gradiente Electronica can petition for exclusivity (if they want) and could then sue Apple for damages (if they can show that they suffered losses as a result of Apple's trade mark infringement).