In 2000, long before Steve Jobs dreamed up the iPhone, the Brazilian company IGB Eletronica applied for the exclusive rights to the iPhone name for its Gradiente brand at the INPI (Brazilian Industrial Property Institute). Apparently it took the INPI over seven years to process Gradiente’s application, but IGB was finally granted the exclusive rights to trademark the name in 2008. One year earlier in 2007, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) launched the first of its wildly successful iPhones.
IGB however, waited until 2012 to launch its own line of iPhones, which ironically use Android OS. Ever since then, Apple has been trying to reclaim the iPhone name for use in Latin America’s largest market.
After losing the rights to the iPhone trademark in Brazil when Brazil’s copyright regulator ruled against it last month, Apple switched from the “stick” to the “carrot” approach. As reported by Brazil’s largest daily newspaper, Folha de São Paulo via Forbes, it now appears that Apple will pay IGB for the rights to the iPhone name, as it has in other markets.