updated 02:30 pm EST, Wed March 29, 2006
Court hears Apple Corps
Apple Corps today delivered opening statements in a high-tech courtroom filled with computers, sending a clear message to the iPod-maker. "Apple Computer can go into the recorded music business in any way they want. What they cannot do is use the Apple [trade]mark to do it," Apple Corps counsel Geoffrey Vos said in his opening statement. Vos demonstrated the iTunes software by downloading the song "Le Freak" and playing it for Justice Edward Mann, a self-professed iPod owner, according to Reuters. Vos said the Apple Computer logo is "intimately associated with the process" of purchasing a song from iTunes, and played a TV advertisement featuring the band Coldplay clearly displaying the logo. Apple Computer lawyers are expected to deliver their opening statements on Thursday. [updated]
The case will decide whether the Cupertino-based company breached a $26 million settlement in 1991, where Apple Computer was awarded the rights to produce "goods and services," but not works whose principal content is music.
Apple offered money
Apple provided a brief statement about ongoing case to Macworld UK, saying that they have been unable to settle their differences over the use of the logo.
"Over a decade ago, Apple signed an agreement with Apple Corps, a business controlled by the Beatles and their heirs, which specified the rights each company would have to use the 'Apple' trademark. Unfortunately, Apple and Apple Corps now have differing interpretations of this agreement and will need to ask a court to resolve this dispute."
Apple Corps lawyer Vos said Apple CEO Steve Jobs had offered to buy the name Apple Records for $1 million in 2003; however, Apple Corps rejected the offer, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The reports also note that Apple Corps Managing Director Neil Aspinall, a former Beatles road manager, and Apple's vice president for applications Eddie Cue,, are scheduled to testify at the trial, which is due to run through next week.