IGB Eletronica, which manufacturers products with the Gradiente brand name, announced in a regulatory filing that since 2008 it has possessed the rights in Brazil to the name "IPHONE", which Apple uses for its product, the world's best-known mobile smartphone.
The firm also announced that it will take the necessary measures to ensure that its brand rights in Brazil are respected although it did not specify whether that includes filing a lawsuit to prevent Apple from using the name in the South American country.
The Brazilian company said in its communique that Gradiente Tuesday began selling the Neo One, the first model in its line of smartphones, in Brazil.
IGB claimed that in 2000 it applied to register the IPHONE name with Brazil's National Industrial Property Institute and that the license was granted on Jan 2, 2008.
The cell phone with the IPHONE brand name being offered by Gradiente on its web page features a 3.7-inch touch-sensitive screen, dual-sim capabilities, 3G, Wi-Fi and bluetooth and it uses Google's Android 2.3 operating system.