The Brazilian company that owns the legal right to the name iPhone in the country is now selling its own iPhone, running the Android operating system.

Gradiente claims it filed its request for the iPhone brand name with the Brazilian Government back in 2000 when it realized: "There would be a technological revolution in the world of cellphones with the convergence of voice and data transmission and reception via mobile Internet."

This was seven years before Apple launched the iPhone, for which Apple filed the trademark in 2006.

According to an Associated Press report, Brazilian trademark office spokeswoman Maratan Marques said Gradiente requested permission to use the brand before Apple did. Not only that, the company has the exclusive right to use it through 2018.

The Gradiente iPhone went on sale on Wednesday for $300. The iPhone Neo One runs Android 2.3 and has a 3.7in screen. Most notably, its appearance is similar to that of the Apple iPhone, with curved edges, and black or white options.

Apple has already failed to stop sales of the iFone in Mexico, notes The Verge. 

However, Apple has acquired the iOS trademark from Cisco and the iPHONE trademark for iPad from Proview.

Follow Karen Haslam on Twitter / Follow MacworldUK on Twitter

Related:

iPhone 5 owners report mixed results from iOS Wi-Fi bug fix

iPhone 6 spring launch is reason for iPhone 5 production slow down, analyst

Analyst predicts cheaper 'iPhone for the masses' will launch, despite rise in premium iPhone share

Best accessories for the iPhone: Macworld Buying Guide 2012