Apple will not exclusively use its iPhone trademark in Brazil as the counrty's copyright regulator today granted the trademark to a local company.
The Brazilian Institute of Intellectual Property today announced that Gradiente Eletronica SA, a Brazilian consumer electronics maker, is the owner of the "iphone" name in the Latin America country. Gradiente Eletronica registered the "iphone" name in 2000.
The decision only applied to handsets, meaning that Apple continues to have exclusive rights to use the iPhone name elsewhere. Apple can continue to sell iPhone-branded handsets in Brazil, but Gradiente has an option of suing for exclusivity.
Apple has not commented on the decision, but will most probably pursue an appeal.
IGB Eletronica SA, a company formed after the restructuring of Gradiente, launched its own Android-based "iphone" line of smartphones last December.