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March 18, 2013

Apple loses right to use ‘iPhone’ trademark in Mexico

Another blow for Apple in Latin America.

By CBR Staff Writer

Apple suffered a blow over the iPhone trademark in Mexico after the country’s Supreme Court upheld a ruling that the local technology services firm owns the iPhone brand in the country.

The dispute with Apple started in 2009 when the company tried to register its phone name in Mexico. The Mexican Industrial Property Institute reported that the name had already been registered.

In Mexico, a local firm uses the brand name "iFone."

The court rejected Apple’s appeal against the decision at the request of Mexico’s "Ifone" and found that the local firm had registered the trade name in 2003 and was using it in a proper way.

Ifone’s corporate lawyer Eduardo Gallastegui said the decision allows the local firm to continue with its allegations, already submitted to the IMPI, for damages resulting from the use of its trademark by Apple and by three Mexican mobile phone service providers.

"Our main interest is to defend our brand," Gallastegui said.

"Apple started the controversy, their first step was to file a lawsuit, they didn’t previously approach the company."

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Brazilian authorities have also rejected Apple’s request to register the iPhone name as Brazilian electronics maker IGB Eletronica, already owned rights to the trademark.

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