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Apple may be close to resolving Brazilian iPhone trademark fight

Apple and Brazil's IGB Eletronica have apparently agreed to settle their legal battle over the iPhone name, says a Brazilian news site.


An iPhone trademark dispute between Apple and Brazilian telcomm firm IGB Eletronica could be one step closer to a resolution.

Both companies have reportedly decided to settle their legal skirmish and reach a peaceable agreement, says Brazilian news site Folha de Sao Paulo as cited by Forbes.

Lawyers for the two companies had filed a court document late last month asking that any legal action be suspended for 30 days as the two sides try to settle the matter, according to Folha de Sao Paulo.

In December, IGB Eletronica unveiled a lineup of devices branded IPHONE, claiming it has had exclusive rights to the name since January of 2008. The company had filed for naming rights in 2000, years before Apple's flagship phone first hit the market, but wasn't granted the rights until eight years later. Unlike Apple's iPhone, IGB's phone is an Android device.

Last month, Brazil's regulatory body, the Institute of Industry Property (INPI), ruled that IGB's 2000 registration for the iPhone name was valid, which meant that Apple could not use the name in Brazil. Apple immediately challenged the ruling, requiring IGB to prove that it actually used the iPhone name between January 2008 and January 2013.

Any agreement would likely see Apple pay IGB for use of the iPhone name in Brazil, according to Forbes.

In January 2007, Apple ran into a similar trademark issue over the iPhone name with Cisco Systems. The two companies had reached an agreement by February.

Last year, Apple faced a trademark dispute over the iPad name with China-based Proview. Apple ended up paying Proview $60 million to settle that fight.