Apple is edging closer towards a settlement with Brazilian telecommunications firm IGB Eletronica over the “iPhone” trademark. IGB owns the brand Gradiente, which obtained the trademark in 2007 — the same year Apple announced its popular smartphone. The company has been keen to prevent Apple from using it, but it appears it’s now willing to reach a deal.
Gradiente actually applied for the iPhone trademark in March 2000, long before Apple began work on the iPhone, but it took the INPI seven years to grant it. Apple now wants the trademark, but Gradiente has been adamant that it won’t give it up.
To make matters worse, the Brazilian company announced an entire lineup of Android smartphones called “iPhone” back in December.
But Forbes is reporting that Apple and Gradiente have at least reached a temporary arrangement to end the lawsuit. It’s thought Apple will pay the company millions to acquire exclusive rights to the name, which would prevent Gradiente — and indeed other companies — from using it again in the future.
That isn’t the end of it all just yet, however. According to MacMagazine.com.br, the lawsuit could be “reactivated” if a deal cannot be tied up. This could turn out to be very expensive for Apple either way, then.