According to Reuters, a local consumer electronics company, Gradiente Eletronica SA, registered the name in 2000, seven years before Apple launched the smartphone. The company began selling Android smartphones bearing the name synonymous with Apple in January 2012. The handsets retail for $287.
A final decision will be made by the Brazilian Institute of Intellectual Property on 13 Feb. Apple could then challenge the ruling in the Brazilian courts.
Brazil is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and a key growth market for global smartphone manufacturers.