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Apple unable to get exclusive rights to “iPhone” trademark in Brazil

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A recent ruling by Brazil’s intellectual property regulator, Instituto Nacional da Propriedade Industrial, requires Apple to share the iPhone brand with a local company. The company, Gradiente Eletronica, registered the rights 7 years before Apple, although it did not release its first handset under the brand until a few months ago. Based on the decision, Apple is also subject to litigation from Gradiente, if it elects to sue for exclusivity.

Gradiente’s position on the matter is unclear, but it has reportedly indicated it is open to discussing options with Apple, presumably regarding selling the trademark – what would be a classic case of trademark “squatting”. Regardless, the lack of exclusivity for Apple leads to several commercial challenges, including limitations on its ability to distinguish the quality and value of its brand from that of competitors.

To read further, see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21449890

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About the Author:

Rachel specialises in biomedical and energy-related innovation as well as international innovation policy. She has particular experience in sector-specific trend mapping, survey building and benchmarking of intellectual property environments. Rachel’s work focuses on Europe, with special emphasis on the UK and Spain, and she speaks fluent Spanish. She gained direct experience with UK innovation policy while interning with the UK’s then Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills.
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