Apple loses iPhone trademark ruling in Brazil

  • Brazilian regulators ruled onThursday that Apple does not have exclusive rights to use the "iPhone" trademark in the South American nation.

    The US tech giant has already lodged an appeal against the decision.

    The ruling comes after local company, Gradiente Eletronica, claimed it registered the name in 2000, six years before the U.S. firm.

    Apple can still continue to sell iPhone handsets in Brazil.

    However, the decision means that Gradiente has an option to file a lawsuit for exclusivity in the region’s biggest market.

    The Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) said its decision only applied to handsets, adding that the California-based company still had exclusive rights to use the iPhone name elsewhere including on clothing, in software and across publications.