Dispute over the use of iPhone trademark in Brazil reaches the Federal Supreme Court (STF)

The episode for the rights of exclusive use over the iPhone trademark in Brazil has begun a new chapter this week. After losing in different courts to Apple, IGB Eletrônica, formerly Gradiente, took the case to be tried by the Federal Supreme Court (STF).

Both companies have been fighting in the courts since the beginning of the decade. The Brazilian company registered the term iPhone (with a capital I) in 2000 at the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (BPTO). It took the agency eight years to grant the registration. At that time, Apple had launched its own iPhone in 2007.

In 2012, Gradiente then launched a line of smartphones with its trademark. Equipped with the Android operating system, the devices have nothing to do with Apple’s phone. In 2014, the pre-sale of the iPhone C-600 model even made the IGB’s shares rise. Sales, however, sank.

IGB’s new action against Apple refers to an Extraordinary Appeal (ARE 1266095), which is the impugnation before the Federal Supreme Court against a judicial decision issued by a State or Federal court. In this case, the Superior Court of Justice (STJ).

In 2018, Gradiente lost the battle in the STJ court to Apple. In the decision, it was determined that both companies could use the term.

The Judge-Rapporteur, Minister Luís Felipe Salomão, argued at the time that “the use of the ‘iPhone’ trademark by Apple does not show any circumstance that implies, even potentially, parasitic exploitation, diversion of customers or dilution of the trademark, with the induction of consumers in mistake”.

The minister also made it clear that “such exegesis does not prejudice the IGB, which, having previously registered the expression ‘G GRADIENTE IPHONE’, may continue to use it, but ruling out only the exclusivity of using the expression ‘iPhone’ in isolation ”.

Filed on April 24, 2020, the appeal cites IGB Eletrônica as part of the process, as an appellant; Apple, as a defendant; in addition to the BPTO. There is no prediction as to when the appeal will be tried at the Supreme Court.

News from: Exame


IBM releases free use of patents to fight coronavirus

Owner of one of the largest patent holdings on the planet, IBM announced the release of its entire portfolio for free use in the development of technologies that help in the diagnosis, prevention, containment, or treatment of the new coronavirus. The measure includes ownership records in fields such as artificial intelligence, where the company is one of the global leaders with Watson, and even in the area of ​​biological viruses.

According to the company, the commitment encompasses more than 80 thousand patents and applications already registered, in addition to any new application submitted until the end of 2023. Researchers, companies and institutions interested in reviewing the available patents can search the public databases of The United States Patent and Trademark Office.

“To commit to not claiming patents from entities that use them in the fight against coronavirus, IBM is joining the Open Covid Pledge, which invites organizations to make their intellectual property available for free to use to combat the pandemic and to minimize the impact of disease”, Mark Ringes, legal counsel for IBM, said in a statement.

Among the patents made available free by IBM are those for artificial intelligence, including the technologies behind IBM Watson. The system became known worldwide at the beginning of the decade, after beating human competitors on an American question-and-answer TV show. Today, Watson offers several cloud services.

But in addition to the technology field, the company has a patent that describes antiviral agents, including molecules with activity against a broad spectrum of viruses, such as dengue, H1N1 and coronavirus. Another patent describes a touchscreen that uses ultraviolet light for disinfection. There are also algorithms that predict the duration and scope of events, including epidemics.

News from: O Globo

Tavares IP

COVID-19 – Tavares remains fully operational

In light of the exceptional circumstances that we are all going through these last days due to the spread of the coronavirus, Tavares felt it was appropriate at this point to reassure clients and friends that we are putting measures into place in order to ensure the health of our employees, colleagues, and clients, and to remain fully operational and available during this worldwide crisis.

Like many countries across the globe, Brazil has also taken measures to control the spread of the new coronavirus, closely following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following the guidance of public health authorities, we have implemented a comprehensive business continuity plan to safeguard the health and well-being of our employees, their families, and our valued friends and clients. And, simultaneously to maintain the superior level of service and responsiveness you have come to expect from Tavares.

As part of this plan, we are putting into place the following measures:

  1. We have ensured that our robust technological infrastructure enables our lawyers and staff to work remotely and continue to serve our clients. We are equipped with a high-performance and secure information system that allows our teams to ensure the continuity and quality of our services;
  2. We have imposed restrictions on all business travel for all employees going forward, until further notice;
  3. From now on, our exchanges will happen solely by email or videoconference – personal meetings will be postponed until further notice.

In addition, all the deadlines were suspended by the BPTO up to May 31, 2020. However, if you have a specific deadline beyond that date that you may be worried about, please contact us for advice.

We are working actively to assure our clients and business partners that we stand ready to continue to serve you as these events unfold.

All of Tavares’ team wishes to express its most sincere solidarity to all the people affected by COVID-19 across the world. We hope all of you, your families and friends stay healthy and safe.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if there is anything we can do to assist you. Our priority, as always, is to remain available to answer all your requests by e-mail: