In its long life as a technology company, Manzana He has faced different legal disputes in which, for the most part, he has been the winner. It is rare that something as exclusive as its iPhone devices have a homonym and that it also runs with the Android operating system.
The latter has been recorded over the last few years. However, they were then “cheap copies” that used the name to boost themselves with the fame of the Cupertino giant; never the other way around, which is what seems to happen with the name “iPhone” in Brazil.
Patents and registrations are the initial step for any product in any economic field in the world. Cell phones do not escape this rule, since before starting to manufacture they have to establish that their device is unpublished and not a copy of the intellect of another developedr.
And when Manzana went to the legal records of the iPhone, back in 2006, he met someone who had already appeared with the same name in the books since 2000, that is, six years earlier.
The Brazilian “iPhone” that runs on Android
a company called Gradientin Brazil, began the registration of the iPhone name in the year 2000. At that time, according to review Xatakadisputed the nomenclature with another corporation called TCE until 2006; Everything happened under the gaze of Apple, which was already preparing the launch of its device with the same name.
Until in 2008, with the Apple cell phone more than installed in the market, National Institute of Industrial Property of Brazil (INPI) granted the registration to Gradiente. This obviously caused problems for Apple to sell its cell phones in the vast territory of the South American country.
The issue of similar names is not the problem, as it is common to see it in the world of marketing. The drawback is that Gradiente, with the support of the Brazilian authorities in hand, He released his “iPhone” in 2012, a device that ran the Android operating system.
Nobody can sue them. Actually, according to the Xataka report, they have the name registered thanks to the process they started in 2000.
However, Apple did decide to take legal action since 2012 against Gradiente, in which it has obtained negative and positive responses.
A legal dispute that is still in force in 2022
In 2013, the INPI denied Apple the exclusivity of the iPhone name, since Gradiente had it before them.
Later that same year, a Regional Court in Brazil clarified that both companies could use the same name, but with the condition that in the case of the Android cell phone it had to be called “Gradiente iPhone” and not simply iPhone.
With this decision, Gradiente was forced to cancel the registration to start a new one with the name “Gradiente iPhone”. This corporation has been appealing the decision until in 2020 they accepted the request.
The pandemic delayed the legal process and until then a trial date is expected.
The cell phone in question is a simple device, without many virtues to stand out above the iPhone. The issue against Apple is that the cell phone was about 10 times cheaper, a situation that took a lot of sales from the Cupertino giant.