Apple fights back against iPhone ruling in Brazil

iPhone users pay higher phone bills than other smartphone users. CBS Interactive

Apple has struck back in its ongoing battle over the "iPhone" trademark in Brazil.

Apple has decided to challenge the ruling laid down yesterday by the Institute of Industry Property (INPI) that Gradiente Eletronica's registration for the iPhone trademark in 2000 is valid, Reuters is reporting today, citing conversations with people within INPI.

Now that Apple has challenged the ruling, Gradiente has 60 days to prove that it made use of the branding between January 2008 and January 2013. Gradiente wasn't authorized to use the iPhone trademark until 2008. Apple launched its iPhone in Brazil in 2007.

Gradiente did not actually use the iPhone trademark until December, when the company launched a spate of Android-based handsets using the "iPhone" moniker. Whether that will be enough for Gradiente to hold onto the iPhone name remains to be seen.

Although Apple has decided to make its case with INPI, the company has the right to settle the matter out of court. Apple did just that in early 2007 when it cut a deal with Cisco Systems, which originally owned the iPhone name. Apple last year settled another lawsuit with China-based company Proview over the use of the iPad trademark.

  • Don Reisinger

    Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

    Don writes product reviews for InformationWeek and Computerworld, and is a regular contributor to Byte and Switch. You can visit his personal site at DonReisinger.com or email him at CNETDigitalHome@gmail.com.

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