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Apple Corps seeks logo ban in iTunes

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.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. Roehlstation

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Someone has to sell music

    I think in order for Apple Corps to complain about this, they need to begin distributing music rather than simply be a company that does nothing but collect royalties.

  1. Roehlstation

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Wouldn't it be funny

    If all iPod and iTunes users simply boycotted the Beatles. (I'd hate to do that because I do like their music.) But really, Apple Corps needs to just drop it. They are Apple Corps, and Apple Computer is Apple Computer. The names and logos are not the same, and no one in the whole world would think otherwise. Maybe Apple Corps should work on their PR if they are afraid that Apple Computer's name will become synonymous with Music.

  1. Zkatz007

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    26 Million? make it 50!

    h***, they have $4 billion in cash...throw Apple Corps $50 mill, and they'll be happy.

  1. kirktalon

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Logo and Naming Contest

    So we need to come up with a logo and catchy name for Apple Computer's music spin-off company. My first thought is to make it the silhouette of the iPod.

    iPodia Inc. Well if it catches on you heard it here first.

  1. Monstermind

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Honestly...

    Does anyone even KNOW who or WHAT Apple Corps is anymore? And how many remember what "Beatles" are?

    This case SHOULD have been a non-starter. No WAY is my hard-earned Apple money going to Yoko Ono...

  1. jedi2187

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    MacNN should add this...

    from Macworld UK:

    Apple Computer's corporate communications director Alan Hely declined to comment on the case on Wednesday morning, but the company has provided the following statement to Macworld:

    "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."

  1. Interlard

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Pathetic!

    Monstermind is spot-on. This "case" is SO pointless.

    All the headlines say "Beatles sue Apple", not "Apple sues computer company". No-one today has heard of Apple Corps. If anything, THEY are benefiting from Apple Computer's recent success.

    The problem is, this stupid agreement that The Beatles "allowed" Apple Computer to operate a business using this fruit as a name & logo. The agreement should be annulled.

    What a shame all the best Beatles are dead now.

  1. jarod

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Squash that Beatle!

    Throw this lame case out; there is no case here! Paul McCuntny; go play elsewhere!

  1. just a poster

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    At this point

    Apple the computer company is more well-known than Apple Records and, even though Apple Records came first, it is probably they who are infringing on trademark today.

    BTW, isn't this a case of selective prosecution? There's a "screaming apple records" which is actually a record company - isn't that the cause of more confusion with Apple Records than Apple Computer?

  1. Timetheus

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Whatever

    If had a fair chance of winning a 26 million settlement, would you do it? That's really all this is about - besides the money it means nothing.

    I don't like abuse of the court systems, I really don't, but I can understand why this happening.

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