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The great debate over Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) cash hoard is still not resolved, but many would agree it should spend money to protect the company’s most valuable product.
Apple is reportedly closer to solving its iPhone trademark dispute with Brazilian telecommunications firm IGB Eletronica, according to Brazilian news outlet Folha de Sao Paulo. After lawyers for both companies asked for legal action to be placed on hold for 30 days last month, the two sides have decided to settle their dispute outside of the courtroom.
IGB owns the brand Gradiente, which requested exclusive rights to the iPhone name in March 2000, well before Apple came out with its highly successful smartphone by the same name. Apple only had iPod and iTunes products released in Brazil at the time. In 2008, the Brazilian Industrial Property Institute finally awarded Gradiente the iPhone name and an Android (NASDAQ:GOOG)-based device branded as iPhone was released shortly thereafter.
As Apple expands its ecosystem around the globe, it is only natural for the company to pay whatever it takes to keep its flagship product separated from other competitors. At the end of December, Apple finished the quarter with a total of $137.1 billion in cash and cash equivalents, short-term marketable securities, and long-term marketable securities.
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