How much difference can a single vowel make to a huge multinational like Nokia? In the case of its Brazilian operations, it seems, enough to land it in court.

The Finish firm has been using its well-known Ovi brand since 2007, but in Brazil it has run into trouble with telecoms company Ouvi Divulgacao e Marketing em Celulares Ltda, which has traded on its own Ouvi label for three years longer.

Carry on for now

Although the Brazilian group had asked for a preliminary injunction to stop Nokia using the Ovi marque, a judge has decided to let the Finns carry on for now.

Speaking to Reuters, a Nokia spokesperson said: "We are very pleased with that. We continue to believe we have a strong case."

Domain registration

However, Ouvi intends to appeal and it may yet stop the Nokia attempt to get its newest brand rolling.

In that effort the Brazilians' trump card may be the fact that they have long held the registration for the ovi.com.br internet domain to reflect the Portuguese pronunciation of 'Ouvi'.

More damning yet, Ouvi CEO Tore Haugland says customers are confused: "We have already had people calling our customer support thinking we were Nokia."