As we've reported before, a smartphone manufacturer in Brazil owns the rights to the name iPhone, and now according to our translation of Brazilian paper Folha De S.Paulo it appears Brazil's National industrial Property Institute (INPI) has rejected Apple's claims. Meaning Apple may be unable to use the name iPhone in the country.
Electronics company IGB who makes the Gradiente iPhone filed for the iPhone trademark in 2000 (seven years before the iPhone launched in 2007.) The trademark was granted to them in 2008 (a year after the iPhone launched). Apple had applied for the iPhone trademark in 2007, but that request has now been denied, according to the paper.
IGB chairman Eugenio Emilio Staub told Bloomberg: that he is happy to talk to Apple. "We're open to a dialogue for anything, anytime. We’re not radicals," he said
IGB claims it filed its request for the iPhone brand name with the Brazilian Government back in 2000 when it realised: "There would be a technological revolution in the world of cellphones with the convergence of voice and data transmission and reception via mobile Internet."
The Gradiente iPhone went on sale in December 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.
However, Apple has acquired the iOS trademark from Cisco and the iPHONE trademark for iPad from Proview.