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Android Cellphones Apple

Brazilians Can Now Buy an "iPhone" Loaded With Android 263

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-phone-by-any-other-name dept.
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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Brazilians Can Now Buy an "iPhone" Loaded With Android

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  • by Noughmad (1044096) <miha.cancula@gmail.com> on Thursday February 14, 2013 @05:37AM (#42893897) Homepage

    When are the Americans going to invade Brazil?

  • Looks legit (Score:5, Informative)

    by LordLucless (582312) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @05:42AM (#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.

    • by azalin (67640)
      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...
      • "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".

      • by gutnor (872759)

        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.

      • by Sulphur (1548251)

        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?

      • 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...

      • 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.

      • by PopeRatzo (965947)

        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 (Score:4, Insightful)

        by morcego (260031) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @09:10AM (#42895109)

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

        As far as cell phone are considered, it is.

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

        Brazil is the 5th most populous country in the world [wikipedia.org].

    • Re:Looks legit (Score:5, Interesting)

      by loosescrews (1916996) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @06:06AM (#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 (Score:4, Informative)

        by mvar (1386987) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @06:15AM (#42894057)
        I was about to post the exact same thing. they settled [cnet.com] that lawsuit
      • 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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mabhatter654 (561290)

        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.

      • by Quila (201335)

        Another company called Infogear had a product called an iPhone, and Cisco bought the company. Cisco then stopped selling the iPhone in 2001, basically abandoning "iPhone."

        Then in mid 2006 all the hype about an Apple iPhone started up. Cisco's iPhone trademark had expired, but they were still in a grace period where they could save it, and they would need to declare under penalty of perjury that they'd been using the trademark during that period, and submit an example of the trademark in use.

        One little probl

    • It looks like Apple's position is that Gradiente didn't produce their phone within the time frame legally required to protect their trademark. Since I am not a Brazilian lawyer, or another other kind of lawyer, I can't begin to say whether that is a claim that is valid or even passes the laugh test. This kind of stuff happens all the time. I don't see this being that big of a deal. Depending upon what happens in appeal, Apple will either win and Gradiente will rename their phone. They will both end up wit
    • by Quila (201335)

      I don't know Brazilian trademark law, but it looks like they registered it back in 2000 and then sat on it, not releasing anything until 2012. This is not what trademarks are for. They are to protect a product or a soon upcoming product. In this case the Brazilian company wants to ride on the iPhone fame created by Apple using trademark, exactly the opposite of what they're for.

      This is kind of what happened with Cisco. Cisco had basically abandoned the iPhone name and fraudulently renewed at the last minute

  • Schadenfreude (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Compact Dick (518888) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @05:43AM (#42893927) Homepage

    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 (Score:5, Interesting)

      by peragrin (659227) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @06:24AM (#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.

      • 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 (Score:5, Informative)

          by JBMcB (73720) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @08:31AM (#42894845)

          Brazil isn't even *close* to being a 3rd world country. It' the sixth largest economy in the world, above England and Italy, and just below France. There are some dodgy parts, just like there are dodgy parts of the US.

        • Re:Schadenfreude (Score:4, Interesting)

          by morcego (260031) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @09:14AM (#42895159)

          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)

          As a brazilian who is the owner of 3 android phones, I have to say that Gradiente's iPhone will tank. There are much better options here, not to mention cheaper.

          If Gradiente wants to compete in the brazilian cell phone market, they should worry about Samsung and Motorola, not Apple.

      • by tehcyder (746570)
        I have precisely zero interest in software updates for a phone, as long as it keeps working the same as when I bought it. I know it's an appalling offence against geekdom, but phones are like fridges or hoovers to me, I really don't care what's under the hood.

        As long as Gingerbread works with the hardware of the phone, who cares that it's "out of date"?

        • I have precisely zero interest in software updates for a phone, as long as it keeps working the same as when I bought it.

          Except it won't "keep[] working the same as when [you] bought it." Security vulnerabilities might be discovered in the operating system. Web sites might start relying on features that the phone's browser doesn't support, such as new JavaScript APIs in the HTML5 stable, and showing you an error message when they fail to detect it. Or they might start relying on features that the operating system's SSL stack doesn't support, such as Server Name Indication (SNI), which is required for name-based virtual hostin

    • by mjwalshe (1680392)
      What a company favors a local over foreigners thats not universal justice that is poujadism you could almost think it was France or China :-)
    • It would be worth the airfare to Brazil to buy one and use it in the USA... especially if you lived in Cupertino.

      Is that little green robot on the box displaying it's middle finger?

  • Why the extra name (Score:5, Interesting)

    by balsy2001 (941953) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @05:46AM (#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.
    • by cffrost (885375)

      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.

    • by BRSloth (578824)

      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 deca

  • A couple of points (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cseg (253752) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @06:01AM (#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".

    • by Sique (173459) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @06:22AM (#42894079) Homepage
      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.
    • by Volanin (935080)

      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.

    • by balsy2001 (941953)
      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
      • by cseg (253752)

        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 a

    • by hjf (703092)

      You think you have it bad with taxes? Come to Argentina...

      Anyway, I think you're right. Gradiente wants money from Apple, but maybe Apple has found that the Brazilian legal system is not as friendly to them as the US and European are. Less bullshit and even less appeals. So Apple can't exploit it like they do in USA.

      And they are too proud to pay. They think they're entitled to it because they are the "i" company. Fuck them, they sue anyone who uses a rounded edge. Let them suffer on this one for a while.

  • 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.

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