Interesting developments for Apple in Brazil. Impact on international trademarks could be widespread.

TechCrunch

Apple has officially lost exclusive rights over the use of the iPhone trademark in Brazil, according to the BBC. The news was telegraphed earlier via a leak that said Brazil’s regulatory body was planning to side with IGB Electronics S.A. in the case and revoke Apple’s exclusive ownership of the term “iPhone” as it relates to electronic devices.

The Brazilian Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) explained to the BBC that its decision only applies to handset devices, and that Apple can still sell its own iPhone with that name in Brazil, unless IGB exercises its option of suing for complete, exclusive control over the trademark. Apple wanted full exclusivity, the INPI told the BBC, on the grounds that IGB had not used the trademark until December of 2012. That’s when the Brazilian company released an Android-based handset also called the iPhone.

IGB had registered the name a full seven years before Apple’s device…

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