Is an iPhone by any other name still an iPhone? The Brazilian government found itself answering that question recently due to Apple’s suit for exclusivity of the “iPhone” name. According to the BBC, Gradiente Eletronica, a small mobile phone maker, trademarked the word “iPhone” way back in 2000. Though Gradiente Eletronica held the name “iPhone” for seven years before Apple’s iPhone made its debut in Brazil, the company just released their first phone last year, the iPhone Neo One. To add insult to injury, the device runs Android.
Of course, Apple is planning on appealing the decision, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t keep calling it an iPhone in Brazil. They can, but Gradiente Electronica has the option of suing them for exclusivity. The trademarked name only extends to phones, so Apple still has the exclusive rights to use “iPhone” in software, books, hats, and stuffed animals wearing T-shirts.
BBC also mentions that when Bloomberg asked the chairmen of Gradiente Eletronica about the situtation he said, “We’re open to a dialogue for anything, anytime… we’re not radicals.” That sure sounds to us like the company wants to make Apple an offer it can’t refuse.