Apple and Gradiente Return To The Supreme Court in a Fight For The ‘iPhone’ Brand


Apple: The long legal battle between Apple and IGB Eletrônica, owner of the Brazilian brand Gradiente, did not end with a handshake. The two parties dispute the right to the “iphone” trademark in the country and have not reached an agreement in a lawsuit regarding the registration of the name.

According to Estadão, the agreement was not reached after 90 days of negotiation in a division of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) that handles mediations in cases close to the end. Altogether, ten unilateral meetings were held and another ten sessions by videoconference were held with both parties.

According to Minister Ellen Gracie, who took care of the meetings, the negotiations were of “high level” and with “cordiality”, but without a consensus. Therefore, the process is now back for analysis by the rapporteur, Minister Dias Toffoli, and there is no new date to be resolved by judgment.

long battles

According to Gradiente, the company registered the trademark for the “Gradiente Iphone” back in 2000, referring to a cell phone with internet capabilities. However, the registration was carried out by the National Institute of Industrial Property (Inpi) only in 2008 — an error by the agency, according to the manufacturer.

In the same year, Apple began selling its smartphone in the country and placed its own branded order for the iPhone.

Driven by rivalry, Gradiente even launched its own iPhone in 2013, which only intensified the dispute and motivated Apple to ask for the cancellation of the competitor’s registration. With Android, the model was analyzed by TecMundo at its launch.

The case spent years in different courts and reached the Superior Court of Justice (STJ) in 2018, when Apple won: the national manufacturer had its initial registration recognized, but was unable to guarantee exclusivity on the use. In 2020, the case was already in the STF after the Brazilian company appealed and was directed to conciliation.


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