May sound cheesy, but a Brazilian company have actually won the patent laws to call its new flagship device- an ‘iPhone’. Knowing beforehand how much belligerent Apple can be when it comes to patent infringements, the Brazilian company has already won the legal rights to use the name trademarked by the World’s Biggest Company- Apple in Latin America’s biggest country.
Infuriating the wounds even further is the fact that this ‘iPhone’ runs Google’s Android OS. According to Gradiente SA, they had filed the request to use the term ‘iPhone’ way back in 2000, when they realized that “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 Brazilian company has launched a line of Android phones under the name- “iPhone”, after receiving the grant from country’s National Institute of Intellectual Property (INPI) in 2008.
That, however, is a year later than Apple’s launch the first version of iPhone as Steve Jobs launched their revolutionary device in January, 2007. Nevertheless, the company has proofs to back up the fact that they have all the required licenses to use the brand name till 2018.
“In Brazil, Gradiente has the exclusive right to use the iPhone brand,” the statement said. “This company will adopt all the measures used by companies around the world to preserve its intellectual property rights.”
The first model in Gradiente’s iPhone line is called “Neo”, and it comes with a 3.7″ wide screen, 5-megapixel rear camera, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Dual-SIM, 2 GB memory, and it runs the primitive version of Android- Android 2.3.4. Gradiente said that it has started selling its iPhone for 600 reals (approx. 300 USD).
When asked about their sudden disclosure, Gradiente said that “their priority was to conclude a corporate restructuring process that ended earlier this year. They were not able to formulate a strategy to use this licensed brand name.” That, alternatively, means that Graidente was out of funds, and needed more finances to back such a project.
We are not sure what sort of strategy is this. Either Gradiente wants to cash-on the popularity of Apple’s iPhone, or either it wants thousands of dollars from Apple for using their patented name. However, Gradient’s president, Mr. Staub, disagrees with the latter statement.
Though, Gradiente was facing a turbulent situation in 2008, Mr. Staub said that the firm doesn’t need money from Apple to survive financially. They have been rejuvenating their brand by signing a settlement with their creditors. “We’ve shown that we want to use our brand,” he said, but added that the company is “open to dialogue.”
Apple is facing a similar situation in Mexico, too, where it’s facing a problem with a telecommunications equipment firm, which has registered their name as ‘iFone’ in 2003, four years prior to the launch of the first iPhone. Apple has also been in a brawl over patent issues with a Chinese firm.
Apple has so far refrained itself from commenting on this issue, but we are pretty sure they are going to drag Gradiente to the court. It’s high time that these tech-giants- especially Apple, stop fighting over such petty legal issues, and focus, instead, on developing better technologies. Perhaps, they could take a few lessons from the great English poet, who quoted- “What’s there in a name?”