Brazil’s iPhone saga continues, though Apple may finally be about to catch a break.
In case you’ve missed it, here’s the back story:
Apple does not hold the rights to the iPhone trademark in Brazil. Instead, the name belongs to IGB Eletronica, formerly known as Gradiente, which registered the iPhone back in 2000 (seven years before the Apple iPhone hit the market). Just when its patent was about to expire, the company launched its own iPhone (run on Android) in December 2012. Apple petitioned the Brazilian Institute of Intellectual Property (INPI) for the rights to the iPhone name, and last month, it lost.
Despite last month’s setback, however, it looks like Apple may be making some hedge way in getting the iPhone trademark all to itself in Brazil. Various news outlets report that Apple and IGB have agreed to suspend lawsuits against one another for a period of 30 days.
During that time, Apple and IGB will negotiate to reach an agreement in the dispute. Given the size of Apple’s pocketbook and its history in the handling of similar trademark issues, it’s likely that Apple will end up paying IGB for the use of the iPhone name in Brazil. And we bet IGB will accept – back in February, a company representative hinted at such in an interview with Bloomberg.