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Brazilians Can Now Buy an "iPhone" Loaded With Android

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the a-phone-by-any-other-name dept.

Android 263

Andy Prough writes "If you happen to be in Brazil and have 599 reals jingling in your pocket ($304 US dollars or £196), you can buy an iPhone — that runs Android. Gradiente Electronica, which registered the 'iPhone' name in Brazil in 2000, has won the right to sell its iPhone Neo One, an Android phone running version 2.3, Gingerbread. Gradiente won the ruling from the Institute of Industrial Property (INPI), despite Apple's argument that Gradiente should lose the right to 'iPhone' because it had not used the name between 2008-2012. Apple retains the right to appeal the case, and Gradiente now has the right to sue Apple for exclusivity in Brazil. If Gradiente wins, the only iPhones sold in Brazil would have a picture of a cute green robot on the box cover."

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Apple lost in court (5, Funny)

Noughmad (1044096) | about a year and a half ago | (#42893897)

When are the Americans going to invade Brazil?

Re:Apple lost in court (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42893931)

for apple, it's time to say goodbye.

Re:Apple lost in court (5, Informative)

azalin (67640) | about a year and a half ago | (#42893949)

Time to include Brazil in the "War on Drugs" (R)

Re:Apple lost in court (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42894249)

Time to include Brazil in the "War on Drugs" (R)

Uh, they take offense to that comment, as you're insinuating they aren't a major player today.

Re:Apple lost in court (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42894003)

But brazilians are americans...

Re:Apple lost in court (2)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894287)

But brazilians are americans...

I thought they were a kind of haircut.

Re:Apple lost in court (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42894015)

If Apple simply stops selling the iPhone in brazil, it won't be long until Gradiente Electronica is the most hated company there, as long as people figure out it's their fault.

Re:Apple lost in court (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42894215)

I hope you realize that foreigners don't patriotically salute the American flag, and may even be overjoyed that this company stood up to an overbearing American company.

Re:Apple lost in court (1)

craigminah (1885846) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894359)

...and Americans generally don't give a crap about other countries and what they think... This is probably part of our problem but it makes us "endearing".

Re:Apple lost in court (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42894383)

Actually, we just want iPhones like everybody else.

Actually we don't Android in Bazil too. :) (5, Informative)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894477)

Actually, we just want iPhones like everybody else.

Actually we want Android phones...its why Apple only have 0.4% of the Brazilian Market. http://www.statista.com/statistics/245189/market-share-of-mobile-operating-systems-for-smartphone-sales-in-brazil/ [statista.com] compared to Androids 56%

Re:Apple lost in court (3, Insightful)

famazza (398147) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894459)

If Apple stops selling the iPhone in Brazil, there will be massive illegal import paying no taxes for government. Maybe this is the most intelligent movement for Apple at the moment. Brazilian government won't accept such a loss of tax income and will provide a "legal" solution for Apple.

Re:Apple lost in court (4, Interesting)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894565)

Legal solution; rebrand your product.
It's not uncommon: Opel/Vauxhall, Axe/Lynx.
Why should Apple get special treatment?

Re:Apple lost in court (3, Informative)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894679)

The illegal import in iPhones, which is not very significant, won't likely be affected at all.

Re:Apple lost in court (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42894659)

Sorry, but Brazilians are Americans; from South America.

Looks legit (5, Informative)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year and a half ago | (#42893923)

The company registered the trademark before Apple even thought about launching the iPhone, and produced the physical product to go with it. Good on them. If Apple really cared about the Brazilian market, they would have checked up on trademarks as part of due diligence before branding - it's not like Apple hasn't had bad experiences with trademark issues before.

Re:Looks legit (1)

azalin (67640) | about a year and a half ago | (#42893969)

I'm not saying Brazil isn't an interesting market, but it probably isn't in the top 5. It is really not that simple/cheap to check the entire world for trademarks. Also I guess the naming scheme started before the music player could place phone calls. I guess they checked iPod more thoroughly.
On the other hand this is not the first time this company gets in trouble for using other peoples trademarks. A certain British music label comes to mind...

Re:Looks legit (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | about a year and a half ago | (#42893995)

"naming scheme started before the music player could place phone calls"

How could they check for "iPod" and if it could place calls? They registered the iPhone trademark a year before the first iPod was announced.

It's also not just Apple record label, CISCO also had a telephone called "iPhone".

Re:Looks legit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42894275)

CISCO also had a telephone called "iPhone".

And their routers run IOS.

Re:Looks legit (2)

Vintermann (400722) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894329)

Apple's use of the naming scheme started with the iMac [wikipedia.org] in 1998, though I'm pretty use the iPrefix was used by others before that... and it's kind of hard to call something a naming scheme when there's only one example.

Re:Looks legit (1)

gutnor (872759) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894045)

It is really not that simple/cheap to check the entire world for trademarks.

Which is a bit disappointing when you think of it. It only takes a single google search to instantaneously find a dry cleaner anywhere in the world, but you need a lawyer and days to find reference to an official registration made with any of the 200 governments of the world.

Re:Looks legit (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894253)

I'm not saying Brazil isn't an interesting market, but it probably isn't in the top 5. It is really not that simple/cheap to check the entire world for trademarks. Also I guess the naming scheme started before the music player could place phone calls. I guess they checked iPod more thoroughly.

On the other hand this is not the first time this company gets in trouble for using other peoples trademarks. A certain British music label comes to mind...

Home of the iBeatles?

Re:Looks legit (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894291)

Apple Tecords clearly abused the trademark process to cover personal computers that DIDN'T EXIST when they filed. It was just Steve being a poor kid that didn't have good lawyers to prevent them from sticking him.

He fixed that...

Re:Looks legit (1)

tylutin (2575251) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894331)

No, they didn't.

The law suit was against Apple iTunes.
There was never a problem until Apple decided to get into the music business.

No no no!!! (4, Informative)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894437)

The law suit was against Apple iTunes.

There was never a problem until Apple decided to get into the music business.

I don't mean to correct you, wikipedia has a nice history http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Corps_v_Apple_Computer [wikipedia.org] the short version of it, as part of the original *settlement* they agreed not to get into to music...and then they did.

Re:Looks legit (4, Informative)

Vintermann (400722) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894365)

Apple the record company settled with Apple computers for $80000 and a promise that they wouldn't enter each other's respective business domains. The record company got angry when the computer company did just that in 2003 with iTunes.

Re:Looks legit (2)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894337)

It is really not that simple/cheap to check the entire world for trademarks.

Given the scope of Apple's legal resources, it should be. Especially for a company whose business model seems to involve suing the crap out of everybody rather than actually doing any innovation. And no, making a phone 0.00001 mm thinner than the model they released in 2007 does not count as innovation.

Re:Looks legit (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894423)

I'm not saying Brazil isn't an interesting market, but it probably isn't in the top 5.

Give it time.

Re:Looks legit (4, Interesting)

loosescrews (1916996) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894017)

Cisco made and sold a product they called iPhone before Apple in the US. This didn't stop Apple from selling their iPhone is the US without aquiring the rights.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linksys_iPhone [wikipedia.org]

Re:Looks legit (3, Informative)

mvar (1386987) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894057)

I was about to post the exact same thing. they settled [cnet.com] that lawsuit

Re:Looks legit (1)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894207)

No, but it could have, if Linksys had taken their action all the way. Instead, they presumably got a tidy sum in the settlement. Decent win for them, I'd say. Nothing like a bit of rent-seeking to keep the wallet happy.

Re:Looks legit (2, Insightful)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894373)

Apple was already working on acquiring rights before release... They were just being held up. Again, Cisco hadn't SOLD the product in several years... It's not up to Apple to know if somebody "maybe might wanna" still use something.

This Brazillian company had a trademark but NEVER released a product until well after Apple STARTED SELLING iPhones in 2008. If it was so important, they had 5 years to bring the matter up.

Re:Looks legit (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894689)

Whatever. The right was still theirs, and Apple should have consulted before. Now they are in a very bad position and will have to pay a lot to settle this.

Re:Looks legit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42894693)

HP iPaq, does anyone remember that line? Apple have not had an original idea for names in years.

Schadenfreude (3, Interesting)

Compact Dick (518888) | about a year and a half ago | (#42893927)

Every now and then, an event occurs that should not [but does] fill one's heart with joy — mainly because of a universal form of justice being executed. This is one of those moments.

Re:Schadenfreude (5, Interesting)

peragrin (659227) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894097)

Why does this fill your heart with joy?

a new android phone running yet another OUTDATED version of Android that isn't going to receive any kinds of long term updates.

This product will be dead in a year. the iphone will keep chugging alone and apple won't have to even try to do anything about it.

It is running Gingerbread people you should be screaming at this company to get off it's ass and release it with a recent OS.

Re:Schadenfreude (2)

Vintermann (400722) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894449)

It's running Gingerbread in a near-third world country. It has features useful for Brazil (it's dual sim). It's probably a bit on the expensive side, but it's not necessarily underspecced just because it's running gingerbread. Getting the software to support all the hardware reliably is probably the main challenge for this Brazilian company (as it is for my Norwegian one, still waitting for my LTE tab updates, grr)

Re:Schadenfreude (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42894201)

You must have some character. Your folks must be so proud of what they created. I wonder in what other qualities you are deficient as well.

Re:Schadenfreude (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42894393)

A real iPhone running Android would be neat. Or, rather, would have been in 2010. Ever since SGS-1 the iPhones from the respective generation have not really been impressive or compelling to me.

This is what trademarks are for (0)

Bogtha (906264) | about a year and a half ago | (#42893933)

People are going to be buying these iPhones under the impression they are the product Apple produces. This is exactly what trademarks are intended to prevent - one product being passed off as another and the consumer unwittingly being fooled into buying something they don't want.

It's true that there's no good solution to the fact that somebody can register a trademark locally then get steamrollered by a massive multinational, but this is just a complete failure of trademark law - this ruling allows the very thing that trademarks are intended to prevent.

Re:This is what trademarks are for (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42893973)

There's a simple solution. Apple created this problem. If a consumer buys a Brazilian iPhone expecting an Apple one, they ought to be able to sue Apple for a refund. Apart from fixing the immediate problem, this would also encourage multinationals not to steal trademarks in future.

Re:This is what trademarks are for (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894395)

If a consumer buys a Brazilian iPhone expecting an Apple one, they ought to be able to sue Apple for a refund.

Since you're already there, how's Columbia this time of year?

Re:This is what trademarks are for (1)

famazza (398147) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894577)

Although brazilians laws can be compared to most developed countries in world the execution is rarely satisfactory.

Suing a company such as Apple could take up to 10 years, and the value will be not much higher then the cost of the fake iPhone.

Re:This is what trademarks are for (5, Informative)

santax (1541065) | about a year and a half ago | (#42893979)

No, this ruling is just what the trademark is about. They were first to claim the name. So they get to use it. The amount of money an infringer on such trademark spends to get people to think they come up with the brand doesn't matter at all.

Re:This is what trademarks are for (2, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894081)

this ruling is just what the trademark is about. They were first to claim the name

What? No, that's not what trademarks are about. From Wikipedia: [wikipedia.org]

The essential function of a trademark is to exclusively identify the commercial source or origin of products or services, so a trademark, properly called, indicates source or serves as a badge of origin. In other words, trademarks serve to identify a particular business as the source of goods or services.

Trademarks are for identification purposes. When people buy an iPhone, the trademark is there so that they know when it says "iPhone" on the box, it's the iPhone they are thinking of and not some other product.

Trademarks have never been land grabs where the first person to claim the name wins. Consider examples like "Escalator". That was originally a trademark, but became generic. Now anybody can make an escalator and call it such.

Re:This is what trademarks are for (0)

santax (1541065) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894101)

Right, so you're trademark is only valid until Big Corp decides to spend heaps of money on a huge commercial campaign... I don't think it works like that. And on a side-note.... wiki is not a source you want to use to 'proof' something.

Re:This is what trademarks are for (0)

Bogtha (906264) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894325)

Please refer to my first comment:

It's true that there's no good solution to the fact that somebody can register a trademark locally then get steamrollered by a massive multinational

On a side note, "wiki" is a type of software, the website is called "Wikipedia", and it serves quite well as an introduction for somebody unfamiliar with a field.

Re:This is what trademarks are for (3, Insightful)

terjeber (856226) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894113)

Which is why companies name products differently in markets where they were not able to secure the trademark. Sorry, the only travesty here is that Apple can continue to sell products in Brasil under the name iPhone.

Re:This is what trademarks are for (1)

Bogtha (906264) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894387)

Which is why companies name products differently in markets where they were not able to secure the trademark.

That might have worked in the past, but now that the world is so connected, that's no longer a decent solution. Suppose Apple were to call their product "Apple Phone" in Brazil. If somebody buys a product labelled "iPhone" and gets it home to find that it's a cheap Android clone instead of an Apple Phone, do you think that's what they were expecting?

Sorry, the only travesty here is that Apple can continue to sell products in Brasil under the name iPhone.

The travesty is that people will be buying products labelled "iPhone" under the belief that they are buying the Apple product. This is exactly the scenario trademarks are intended to address, and the fact that they have not done so is an utter failure.

Now, by all means argue that Apple should not be able to just come in and usurp a pre-existing product - that's certainly a reasonable position to take - but you can't say that this isn't a failure of trademark law to protect consumers.

Re:This is what trademarks are for (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42894519)

It seems that the failure was Apple's . They could have made some research before using the 'iphone' name.
Only 'cose they're big it dosn't give them the right to overpower small companies. How can you guarantee that Apple didn't stole the name form Gradiente Electronica?
Only 'cose they decided to spend milions of $ to adv. the name iPhone before checking if they can use it , dosnt make the Gradiente Electronica claim false, or the ruling of the court. And checking if a name is used already in ~260 contries is not that hard for a bilion $ company. If they can't research is a simple word already used.
And let's see what history shows about the name 'iPhone' it was used long before google in Brasil, China, and US (by cisco) . So apple can pretty much blame only themselfs.

Re:This is what trademarks are for (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894435)

Trademarked have to be USED for trade. This company hasn't sold anything called "iPhone" since 2000...if EVER... And didn't bother to contest the first 5 YEARS Apple was selling iPhones around the world.

Trademarks aren't patents that you keep in a drawer for 10 years... They are about IDENTIFICATION... So you have to use them... And if you don't DEFEND them, LOSE them.

Re:This is what trademarks are for (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42894645)

Rules are rules. It's just irony at play whenever Apple gets buttfucked in the court room.

Re:This is what trademarks are for (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894009)

Or Apple could just buy the trademark instead of citing the other guy in court like usual.

Re:This is what trademarks are for (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894499)

Why pay for what the other company did not LEGALLY MAINTAIN? Legally, this's company did not maintain ANY Products with the "iPhone" name since 2000, they did not DEFEND the trademark for the first 5 years Apple sold "iPhone" all over the world, and they waited till last fall to use the name for a knock-off of what Apple was selling. In most countries they would have lost fair and square...

Re:This is what trademarks are for (1)

lfourrier (209630) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894013)

Trademark is a privatisation of vocabulary. To be morally justified, it must have a purpose for all, not just for the trademark holder.
What is the common justification is as a proxy for characteristics and quality of the trademarked goods.
But when the trademark holder decrease the quality, or change the country of origin, and keep using the mark to use the goodwill it represent, he should lose his trademark, because the trademark is now used only for his benefit, as a mean to lie to consumers. Of course, morality and business are distinct worlds ...

Now, iphone means apple for you. It meant something else before (from wikipedia : The first iPhone model, released by Infogear in 1998, combined the features of a regular phone and a web terminal).

Re:This is what trademarks are for (2)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894037)

Or Apple could pick another name, since someone else trademarked iPhone first.

Re:This is what trademarks are for (2)

Bogtha (906264) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894099)

There are almost 200 countries in the world. Good luck coming up with a short, pronounceable product name that is original in all of them.

Re:This is what trademarks are for (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42894225)

Presumably Apple believes in the free market, and would therefore be willing to pay for the mark in any regions where it didn't own it, no? Why are they going to the courts? Sure, the owner might say no no matter how much money Apple offer, but that's their prerogative; after all, that's how Apple treat their patents.

Re:This is what trademarks are for (2)

Vintermann (400722) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894463)

Kodak did pretty well.

Re:This is what trademarks are for (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42894587)

There are almost 200 countries in the world. Good luck coming up with a short, pronounceable product name that is original in all of them.

How about iFucked? Everyone seems to pretty much feel the same about copyright and patent law the world round anyway, and I promise you that 99% of the civilized world has heard the word "fuck" before, and likely has a similar meaning the world round.

Re:This is what trademarks are for (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42894627)

Oo almost 200 ?! w0w. dude... ~260 :D just saying... and again, you wanna tell me that a multi bilion $ company , can't do a simple work check in ~260 (+-2) counties?! :D Well ...they can check in the top 5 , right? Like USA and China ? 'cose the name was used in both :D

Re:This is what trademarks are for (1)

oztiks (921504) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894653)

eyePhone

Re:This is what trademarks are for (0)

terjeber (856226) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894105)

I agree, it is a travesty that Apple is allowed to sell handsets named iPhone in Brasil. Gradiente is going to have a tough time selling their superior product when they are steamrolled by an american billion dollar monster.

Re:This is what trademarks are for (1)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894229)

People are going to be buying these iPhones under the impression they are the product Apple produces. This is exactly what trademarks are intended to prevent

You're right - Apple should never have been able to market the iPhone in Brazil when there was an application pending on that trademark (on a side note - eight years to process a trademark application? Yikes!). The thing is, there was probably nothing to be done about it. The government wouldn't have taken issue with it, and any complaints Gradiente might have made would probably have been laughed away as trolling if they'd made them before their product was ready.

Re:This is what trademarks are for (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42894257)

No. It's trademark law at it's finest.

Those guys own the trademark in Brazil, and they're using it. Apple doesnt own it and it's not using it. They didn't buy it in the first place and didn't bother to buy it after launching their own iPhone.

This is exactly how trademarks were designed to work.

Re:This is what trademarks are for (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42894301)

People are going to be buying these iPhones under the impression they are the product Apple produces. This is exactly what trademarks are intended to prevent - one product being passed off as another and the consumer unwittingly being fooled into buying something they don't want.

OK, if a consumer is that fucking stupid to not notice that when they pick up that Brazilian "iPhone" in an odd-colored box with a picture of a big green guy on the front, which 3-year old can now point to and say "Ice Cream Sammich", then I have little sympathy here. Separating hundreds of dollars from a person too stupid to know the difference should not be Apples responsibility 100% of the time. Do I walk into a damn grocery store and see the word "apple" in the produce isle and expect to find the Genius Bar in the salad section? I mean, give me a break with this level of idiot-proofing a trademark, especially when it's a common word.

And no Apple, you are not a genius nor do you own the concept of iPutting iThis iShit iFront iOf iEverything.

Re:This is what trademarks are for (1)

Bogtha (906264) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894427)

Most people aren't as knowledgable about technology as the average Slashdotter. They aren't stupid just because they confuse a phone called "iPhone" that has a full-size touchscreen, rounded corners, camera, and the ability to run apps with a phone called "iPhone" that has a full-size touchscreen, rounded corners, camera, and the ability to run apps. Your analogy with the fruit is ridiculous.

No wonder Apples share prive are plummeting (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894535)

Most people aren't as knowledgable about technology as the average Slashdotter. They aren't stupid just because they confuse a phone called "iPhone" that has a full-size touchscreen, rounded corners, camera, and the ability to run apps with a phone called "iPhone" that has a full-size touchscreen, rounded corners, camera, and the ability to run apps. Your analogy with the fruit is ridiculous.

If those are the only features that an iPhone sells on, then it deserves its shrinking maketshare[and value], and their is nothing to differentiate it as a product...it is simply a brand. Suddenly Apple fanatics, and Google fanatics are on the same page; holding hands; singing "we are the world".

Re:This is what trademarks are for (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42894433)

People are going to be buying these iPhones under the impression they are the product Apple produces. This is exactly what trademarks are intended to prevent - one product being passed off as another and the consumer unwittingly being fooled into buying something they don't want.

It's true that there's no good solution to the fact that somebody can register a trademark locally then get steamrollered by a massive multinational, but this is just a complete failure of trademark law - this ruling allows the very thing that trademarks are intended to prevent.

So.... Apple selling iPhones is good ? But wait a second ....who got the iPhone name first? So who do you think the trademark should protect in this case? Apple?
If you think apple have any rights here, i doubt slashdot is a place for you.

Re:This is what trademarks are for (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42894443)

Fanboi alert. The reality is that Apple is passing off its iPhone as the Gradiente iPhone in the Brazilian market. This ruling confirmed that. That Apple has a bigger global machine is irrelevant. Trademark law is designed to work exactly in this manner: prevent the dominant player from forcing the small player out of the market.

Re:This is what trademarks are for (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894667)

No, you have it backwards. These guys registered the iPhone name first. People are going to buy Apple iPhones under the impression they are real Android iPhones, unwittingly being fooling into buying something they don't want.

Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42893935)

This is the most amusing thing that I've seen all week. :)

Why the extra name (4, Interesting)

balsy2001 (941953) | about a year and a half ago | (#42893945)

Why add the "Neo One" to the name? You just won a case for a very valuable name in the electronics industry, why go adding extra crap to to let people know that it isn't really an iPhone? If you have no intention of trying to "trick" people into thinking it is an iPhone, why not just sell the name to Apple for what ever you can get? Just go all in and claim it is an iPhone period. Or get some balls release 4 models really quick and claim it is the iPhone 5.

Re:Why the extra name (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42893999)

Why would anyone want to give up a trademark they registered earlier than the impostor?

Re:Why the extra name (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42894039)

>Why add the "Neo One" to the name?

Because thats the trademark which was registered.

> If you have no intention of trying to "trick" people into thinking it is an iPhone, why not just sell the name to Apple for what ever you can get?

They neither have to do anything illegal nor make things any easier for apple.

Re:Why the extra name (1)

cffrost (885375) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894041)

Why add the "Neo One" to the name? You just won a case for a very valuable name in the electronics industry, why go adding extra crap to to let people know that it isn't really an iPhone?

Perhaps the "Neo One" designation indicates phones with a convenient-to-remove/replace battery, and reliance on fewer proprietary technologies than the Johnny-come-lately's iPhones.

Re:Why the extra name (1)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894227)

Nah, just release it as iPhone 6, and claim the iPhone 1-5 were internal prototypes if asked.

To create a Product Line (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894361)

Nah, just release it as iPhone 6, and claim the iPhone 1-5 were internal prototypes if asked.

I think the point is so unlike Apples market-share losing strategy of producing only one iphone at a time. I suspect they will create a product line...like every other company on the planet.

Re:Why the extra name (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42894245)

Or worse...Bringing a phone to market now running Gingerbread.

Re:Why the extra name (1)

BRSloth (578824) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894429)

Gradiente (the company making the phone) wants to paint themselves as the good guys, who simply got lucky of registering the name before Apple (they even have a video, in Portuguese, saying that their phone is "cheaper and have less features" while praising Steve Jobs in the process for making the "other" iPhone).

My guess is that they are doing everything that is legal around here just to hike up the price. They probably know that being assholes would burn their brand (which is almost dead for around a decade) and just make Apple put more lawyers in the process.

Re:Why the extra name (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42894631)

Why add the "Neo One" to the name? You just won a case for a very valuable name in the electronics industry, why go adding extra crap to to let people know that it isn't really an iPhone? If you have no intention of trying to "trick" people into thinking it is an iPhone, why not just sell the name to Apple for what ever you can get? Just go all in and claim it is an iPhone period. Or get some balls release 4 models really quick and claim it is the iPhone 5.

The Matrix was just released in Brazil last week.

Needless to say, "Neo" is off-da-chain-hawt right now in marketing.

A couple of points (4, Insightful)

cseg (253752) | about a year and a half ago | (#42893989)

First, why not sell the name to Apple?

Because Apple most likely isn't willing to pay what Gradiente wants. Apple has a track record for engaging in long and useless "negotiations" in Brazil. Years ago they wanted the right to set the pace within the App Store (defining age ratings for apps), and the Brazilian government didn't want that. Here the government decides that kind of stuff and Apple thought it wasn't an option, so the end result was that the App Store in Brazil was really shitty for years. Only a few games (those made by Brazilian developers) were available, many other apps were missing. Which even led to people coming up with ways to register their accounts in other countries' stores just to have access to apps they couldn't get here.

Apple also exploits the market here. Brazilians have this retarded idea that more expensive = better. An unlocked iPhone 5 starts at U$U$650 in the US (today that would be ~R$1300 in Brazil). The Brazilian government imposes the highest and most nonsensical volume of taxes in the world, but Apple starts the iPhone 4S (iPhone 5 isn't even selling here officially yet) at R$2000 [apple.com] . Carriers have been offering pre-orders for the iPhone 5 starting at around R$2600 with an expensive plan, or around R$3100 without one. It is believed that Apple itself will sell them in the R$2400-3000 range once it's officially released here.

With those things in mind, the result is very likely that Apple wouldn't settle for a value Gradiente wanted.

The second point is about the name.. They (Gradiente) very likely went with something slightly different for the case Apple eventually does decide on paying for the trademark. In that case, Gradiente's trouble with getting around "iPhone Neo One" should be slightly less complicated than simply "iPhone".

Re:A couple of points (4, Insightful)

Sique (173459) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894079)

Why being forced to sell a name anyway? Gradiente registered the name "iphone" (lower case p) in 2000. At this time, Apple had two iProducts (iMac and iBook), but there was no sight yet of a long chain of i-labelled consumer gadgets from Apple, and an Apple phone wasn't even on the drawing boards. The iPod came in 2001, so Gradiente's registration surely was without any intention to squat on a future, valuable trademark of Apple.
Within the legal framework of trademark law, the name "iphone" (and all modifications of it, which can be easily confused with the original trademark), is rightfully Gradiente's. It's solely Apple which has a problem here, they tried the courts to solve it, and they lost. So they can beg Gradiente to sell the name to them, or at least get a license to use it, but there is no incentive for Gradiente to agree to any negotiations.

Re:A couple of points (1)

Volanin (935080) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894145)

Parent's post current conversion:

- iPhone 4S 16GB at apple store: R$2000 = U$1,018
- iPhone 5 pre-orders at carriers: R$2600 = U$1,322 with contract / U$1,577 without contract.

Re:A couple of points (1)

balsy2001 (941953) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894193)

How much of that price difference is due to the cost of importation (taxes, tariffs, etc.)? I found a couple of articles quickly searching the web that make it look like the import tax would be 100% or more (http://www.ehow.com/list_6529981_import-duties-brazil.html, http://www.rosalienebacchus.com/articles/UnderstandingBrazilsTaxesOnImports_031210.html [rosalienebacchus.com] ). I am not sure if this is applicable for iPhone or if it is even accurate/up to date. If that is correct then the prices of iPhone in Brazil are exactly what they should be. Start with a US price of $550 for iPhone 4S, apply the 2 to 1 currency conversion to get to 1100 Reais and then hit it with ~100% import tax and you get 2200 Reais for the 4s 16GB. Same applies for the iPhone 5 and you get to 2600 Reais. I thought that was why Apple and Foxcon were trying (did?) start manufacturing Apple products in country, to avoid the crazy import taxes.

Re:A couple of points (2)

cseg (253752) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894307)

Yep, you got it mostly right.

Importation taxing is insane here, and like I said on my previous post, very nonsense. Most stuff fall into this retarded law where at the border, they'll get taxed "to match the price practiced in the country". This law has the limit of R$5000, so anything more expensive than that will have its own separate law for importation.

The problem is that it makes importing stuff unpredictable unless you have market information to match prices (which by itself is a lot of work for the average person). Not to mention that the final decision is made by the government and thus things can still differ wildly. You can appeal if you think it's wrong/unfair, but that will cost you extra money and most likely a lot of time (justice in Brazil is VERY slow). In the end, most people prefer to just pay whatever overprice they go for in the country, or have someone bring it from overseas (they can bring up to U$1500 in "undocumented personal gadgets" when (re)entrying the country).

Foxconn built their factory here with that cut in taxes in mind, but the cut never really got to consumers. The 8GB iPhone 4, built in Brazil, is only R$400 (~U$200) less expensive than an iPhone 4S 16GB. Apple does get the phones made in Brazil cheaper than the imported ones, but they simply don't turn that into cheaper final products, which is the exploitation I mentioned in the other post. They like their "elite" status, and the Brazilian market is golden for that.

Re:A couple of points (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42894317)

Yeah, you would be right, if Foxconn hasn't opened an Apple products factory in São Paulo they also have tax exemption for tablets since January 2012.

The prices haven't dropped like one woud expect. Brazil does have this idiotic notion that expensive=better and the commerce is happy to impose an 80%-100% profit margin because of that.

Re:A couple of points (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42894283)

Eh, all this show with courts and so on is just courting dance, anyways.

Give them some time to go through the motions of "You're asking too high! Also, we're more popular and you didn't release it earlier, so give it to us for free" - "You're giving too low! Also, law's on our side and it's our home turf" - "Is not!" - "Is too!" and then they'll settle on something in vicinity of $100M, plus may be some licensing from Apple or dropping remaining iPhones from Gradiente.

Android iPhones (0)

DrXym (126579) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894143)

It's well worth checking out videos on YouTube of some of these Android iPhones. They've have gone to extraordinary lengths to make them resemble the iPhone not just in hardware but the software too. The software is very convincing mimicking the dialler, launcher and other major functionality to the extent that you can hold the phone side by side with the real thing and it behaves close enough that you'd have to be very familiar with iOS to know the difference.

I'm not sure why someone in the West would *willingly* buy a counterfeit except for the novelty or self esteem issues. I expect they're popular items with criminal gangs and fraudsters though.

Also, even if Apple doesn't own the iPhone name in Brazil, that doesn't mean someone can legally palm off an "iPhone" which rips off the real iPhone so brazenly.

iPhones design is tired (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894315)

They've have gone to extraordinary lengths to make them resemble the iPhone

No they haven't. I personally find the iPhone design somewhat dated now, but it is distinctive. These phones look like mid-priced Huawei Android phones, It even has Android buttons on the front. The interface looks more like stock android...including widget layer...the iPhone needs to update their UI too....its not 2007 anymore.

Its an attractive phone...and personally love the striking [and decidedly not Apple like] two tone casing, at this price; a fraction of the Apple iphone...its a steal. Its a phone I could see myself owning.

Re:Android iPhones (1)

Vintermann (400722) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894501)

Maybe you're a bit quick in lumping this phone in with "these Android iPhones"? looking at it [gradiente.com.br] , I think it looks a lot more like an Android phone than an iPhone.

It has bottom buttons, app drawer, and a little green waving Android robot...

This is stupid. (-1, Flamebait)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894161)

I know the FanDroid sentiment is high here on SlashDice, but this story is stupid, the idea is stupid, and the company is stupid. Plus, what the hell is up with selling a phone that has an OS that's quite a few years out of date? This isn't good for Android in any way, and does little to rehabilitate the world view of Brazil as a haven for the theft of intellectual property either.

I mean, they're better than China in this respect, but sheesh.

Re:This is stupid. (1)

sFurbo (1361249) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894323)

This [...] does little to rehabilitate the world view of Brazil as a haven for the theft of intellectual property either.

Apparently, Gradiente Electronica made a product with the name iPhone in 2000. If Apple could stop them from using that name simply because Apple started making a phone by the same name later, THAT would have shown that Brazil was a have for intellectual property "theft", or, more correctly, trade mark infringement.

good for them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42894179)

4 years is a reasonable timeframe for bringing an idea to market and should have no effect on the case against them. poor apple. hahahahahaha

Would have been great in 2010! (1, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894185)

Really Android 2.3? Epic fail.

The only thing newsworthy is the fact that he can use the name iPhone for what looks like is a completely mediocre china phone.

The iPhone is made where? (4, Insightful)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894385)

The only thing newsworthy is the fact that he can use the name iPhone for what looks like is a completely mediocre china phone.

The irony of this post hurts my brain.

Apple knows how to handle this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42894203)

Apple is just going to buy their entire company. Minus one competitive Smartphone, and you've solved a brand problem.

Re:Apple knows how to handle this (1)

famazza (398147) | about a year and a half ago | (#42894675)

If Apple buys Grandiente it will be a win-win situation.

Gradiente was a recognizable brand in Brazil until early 2000's. It has licensed products from Sony, Pioneer, Alpine, JVC, Nokia, Atari, Nintendo in Brazil, including Nokia 7110 (The Matrix Cellphone). This caused a very good impression on the quality of their products

On middle 2000's Gradiente went into bankrupt. The brand was sold and the new owner has put it on hold until now.

IMO Grandiente don't have a bright future ahead. Their only chance is to sell the company, or only the brand iPhone, to Apple, and hope to license other brands again.

Yuo fail It (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42894357)

These eArly

Karma (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42894517)

Gradiente: Just change the name, not that big of a deal.
Apple: Grr, Jobs and his big mouth.

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