A recently surfaced report suggests that Apple has lost its iPhone trademark in Brazil.

The trademark was seized by Brazil’s copyright office and handed over to Gradiente Eletronica SA, a local electronics maker who registered the name in 1998.

An official announcement regarding the trademark decision will be delivered by the Brazilian Institute of Intellectual Property by February 13.

After the announcement is made Apple will have the chance to challenge the courts ruling.

Apple Loses iPhone Trademark In Brazil

According to Gradiente Eletronica SA, Apple has not made any attempt to reach out for support. IGB Chairman Emilio Staub said of the ruling in his company’s favor:

“We’re open to a dialogue for anything, anytime. We’re not radicals.”

Gradiente Eletronica SA was formed after Gradiente Eletronica claimed bankruptcy.  IGB Eletronica SA then started selling the G IPHONE Gradient throughout Brazil in December 2012.

The company’s device runs on the Android 2.3 ‘Gingerbread’ OS and features a touchscreen with dual-SIM card support and 3G connectivity.

Apple is facing a steep uphill battle as Latin American courts tend to issue rulings that favor local company’s. For example, the Mexican founded company iFone was able to keep selling its own devices despite the linguistically similar naming convention for its product line.

Apple is still fighting a battle against iFone and now the company looks poised for yet another legal battle with Gradiente Eletronica SA.

While Apple continues to fight its legal battles in Latin America the tech firm is also attempting to avoid a loss of interest by American and European customers. Customers in established regions have revealed in recent surveys that their loyalty to the tech firm has waned as Samsung and other competitors continue to prove their worth.

[Image via inventhelp]