Apple may lose its right to use the iPhone name in Brazil, according to a report on Reuters today. The trademark has been given to Gradiente Eletronica SA, a Brazilian electronics maker who registered the name in 1998, well before Apple had an iPhone to even trademark. The decision is set to be made public on the 13th of this month.
Apple can still challenge the ruling in Brazilian courts once the announcement is made.
The chairman of the Brazilian company, Emilio Staub, said that his company was willing to talk to Apple, but has thus far not been contacted. “We’re open to a dialogue for anything, anytime,” he told MacNN. “We’re not radicals.”
Currently called IGB Eletronica SA began announced a smartphone line called the G iPhone Gradient this past December, and will begin selling a newer model, the Neo One, for approximately 600 reais, or about $302. It will run Android version 2.3 Gingerbread and had 3G connectivity and dual SIM card support.
This isn’t the first time a Latin American court has allowed regional companies to use names similar to iPhone. In November of 2012, a Mexican court allowed iFone to be used as a brand name, despite Apple’s request to have it forbidden. An Apple appeal is still in the court system..