Apple has had a rocky time getting things sorted in Brazil and it certainly doesn’t get better for them now that they’ve lost the rights to use iPhone exclusively in Brazil.
Forbes has a detailed rundown of what transpired that resulted in Apple losing the iPhone signature in South America.
Basically, the company Gradiente filed for the trademark back in 2000, well before Apple became the powerhouse player that they are today. The Brazilian Institute for Industrial Property granted Gradiente the trademark for exclusive use for their own smartphone line in 2008, based on their originally filing in 2000.
Back in 2006 Apple had registered to use the iPhone name exclusively but it was denied and they were granted partial use in marketing and instruction manuals. In the end, Gradiente beat out Apple to the punch and they will control the name iPhone, while using Google’s OS software. Talk about kicking them while they’re down.