STF Minister José Antônio Dias Toffoli decided this week that apple and IGB Eletrônica (formerlySteep) should resolve their dispute over the iPhone brand through mediation. As a result, the filing process in April this year at the Federal Supreme Court was suspended.
This war is an old one. In a nutshell: in 2000, Gradiente filed a trademark application “G Gradiente iphone” with INPI (National Institute of Industrial Property). Only in 2008 did the company receive the right to use it, when Apple’s iPhone became a global success.
In 2013, Apple attempted to revoke the trademark registration; Judicial process is circulated in lower courts until the STJ (Superior Court of Justice) is reached in 2018.
Reporting Minister, Luis Felipe Salomão, decided that Gradiente’s trademark cannot be canceled, as there is no evidence of bad faith, and Apple did not sell the mobile phone at the time of the request to INPI. However, he determined that only Apple could use the “iPhone” branding independently and royalty free, while the IGB would maintain a monopoly on the term “G Gradiente iphone”.
Apple and Gradiente at the STF
Dissatisfied with the situation, the IGB turned to the Supreme Court. The request was initially denied, but the agency reviewed it in August and began processing. And, last Thursday (3), there was a decision from Minister Dias Toffoli. He recalled that this year, a Mediation and Mediation Center was established at STF to reach a unified resolution of legal problems.
“Considering that the matter is raised in the extraordinary appeal regarding available title, I determine the suspension of current proceedings and refer the case to the Mediation and Mediation Center”, write Dias Toffoli.
The IGB has been in judicial rehabilitation since 2018, and its cumulative total loss is R $ 1.00 billion. In some countries, such as the US and China, Apple has to pay to secure the rights to the iPhone and iPad brands. This year, the company has exceeded $ 2 trillion in market value.