Another Costly International Trademark Battle for Apple.

After fighting to secure its iPad trademark in China, Apple appears poised to engage in another costly trademark battle overseas. Brazil’s copyright authority recently ruled that the iPhone trademark rights belong to a local company, Gradiente Eletronica SA.

As with many international trademark systems, Brazil awards trademark registration to the first party to file, without taking into account who used the trademark first, or which party is more closely associated with the brand. In this case, Gradiente first applied for a trademark in 2000, six years prior to Apple’s subsequent trademark application and launch of the popular iPhone product.

Gradient was awarded the iPhone trademark in January 2008, according to The Wall Street Journal. Under Brazil’s trademark law, in order to gain exclusive rights, it was required to sell a product making use of the mark within five years.

Gradiente iPhone

In December 2012, the company announced an Android-based smartphone called the “IPHONE Neo One.”

According to Brazil’s National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI), Apple is now contesting whether Gradient used the brand within the required time frame.

However, in February, the INPI ruled against Apple.  Accordingly, Apple filed suit and is also trying to work out a financial settlement (reports indicate that the two entities are close to a settlement). Either way, it appears that Apple has another costly legal battle on its hands.

How Can I Help?

It can be more difficult to protect trademarks and other IP rights overseas. Therefore, it is imperative to consult with an attorney experienced in foreign intellectual property concerns.

I have developed long-standing, close relationships with firms and experts worldwide to enable me to offer my clients in-depth experience in foreign law.

If you, or someone you know, need help with any Intellectual Property issue, foreign or domestic, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +


End of the App Lock-In?

As I was perusing my favorite technology blogs regarding, various smartphones, I was interested in the new Windows Phone 7 (WP7) Nokia Lumia 900 reviews.  I noticed that every article mentioned how fast it was on a single core device.  The constant reference to the single core brought out the attorney in me, so I did a little investigating.  It seems that there is no multitasking for applications in WP7.  Not a terrible limitation by any means.  However, I personally have looked at the Nokia and other WP7 phones along with Windows 8 and have no desire to have a Duplo/Lego phone that does more to annoy me than accomplish my work.  Your mileage and preferences may vary so don’t hate me because I don’t like your phone.

That being said, it dawned on me that if the new processors in phone and tablets were powerful enough, there is the opportunity to provide virtualization.  Virtualization on a phone or tablet would allow you to run multiple operating systems.  With the right set of hardware and software, a smartphone or tablet could run all the different segregated Apps.  This would mean a user would be able to run iOS , Android, Blackberry, WP7 apps on a single platform.

Just think one OS to rule all them all.

Is this the wave of the future, buy one, run all?  Or is this just a pipe dream.  Cast your vote in my poll.

If you have any software, hardware or Internet questions, please contact me for a free consultation.