Apple Files for Trademark on Beatles Apple Corps. Logo

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Apple has filed two trademark applications for the granny smith green apple logo once owned by The Beatles Apple Corps. Patently Apple reported that Apple has filed for both the whole apple image and the cross-section image seen below The Beatles made famous on the labels of their own records and the records of other artists released through Apple Corp.

Granny Smith Apple Logos

Apple Inc. filed for trademarks on both of these images
Source: Trademark filings via Patently Apple

The trademark application is not some nefarious effort on the part of Apple Inc. to usurp The Beatles’ legacy, but rather a by-product of the 2007 settlement between Apple Inc. and Apple Corps. that included the transfer of trademarks from the latter to the former. The trademark applications uncovered today is a continuation of that process to ensure that Apple is in control of the trademarks.

To refresh your memory on how this came about, Apple Inc. and Apple Corps. share a common name, namely “Apple.” Apple Corps is the company set up by The Beatles to control their own music in the late 1960s.

George Harrison Single

A label from the George Harrison single “No Time or Space”
Source: Wikimedia

and Apple Corps. sued Apple Inc. (then Apple Computer, Inc.) in 1981 alleging trademark infringement. The two companies settled, and part of that settlement included an agreement by Apple Inc. not to enter the music business. In 1991, Apple Corps. sued again, claiming that Macs capable of making musical notes violated that agreement. Again, the two companies settled, with that settlement including a chunk of change being paid to The Beatles and Apple Corps.

In 2003, however, The Beatles found cause to sue once again, as Apple Inc. had now truly entered the music market with its iTunes Store (then the iTunes Music Store, which for a couple of days bore the name Apple Music Store). That suit dragged out for a few years, but once again resulted in a fat settlement check paid by Apple Inc. to Apple Corps., and the transfer of all of Apple Corps.’ trademarks to the fast-growing electronics firm.

Apple’s new trademark applications cover 14 different categories, including computer hardware, online social networking services, mobile phones, musical instruments, games, clothing/headgear, advertising, education and broadcasting. Patently Apple also has the lengthy list of specific devices named in the application, as well.

Comments

jimothy

Umm, I’m not really sure how to ask this (and I probably shouldn’t ask it at all)...does anybody else see anything rather, uh, feminine about the cut apple?

Lee Dronick

Umm, I?m not really sure how to ask this (and I probably shouldn?t ask it at all)...does anybody else see anything rather, uh, feminine about the cut apple?

I see it in the folds of hills, forks of trees, and Georgia O’Keeffe’s painting Gray Line with Black, Blue, and Yellow. There is nothing wrong with having an artistic eye and joie de vivre.

Ms. Dacia May

I think this is terrible, Apple Corp. was made long before Apple Inc. came along and this should not be allowed, this really aggravates me a lot, to think that they should own everything associated with “apples” when in face Apple Corp. was there long before!

Lee Dronick

I think this is terrible, Apple Corp. was made long before Apple Inc. came along and this should not be allowed, this really aggravates me a lot, to think that they should own everything associated with ?apples? when in face Apple Corp. was there long before!

About fours ago Apple Corp transferred ownership of the trademarks to Apple Inc. It was a business decision and it is a done deal, you should have spoken up back then.

MeanMrMustard

Thanks, jimothy.  I will never look at the core of this species of fruit the same way again. wink  As for the trademark litigation, while my affection for the Beatles’ visuals is far greater than it is for Apple Inc. and its products, the settlement was what it was.  So, if Apple Inc.‘s rights to the anatomically correct Apple Corps logo was part of the deal, so be it.

jimothy

Thanks, jimothy.? I will never look at the core of this species of fruit the same way again.

Then my work here is done! Good night, everybody!

Lee Dronick

This is what happens when you put the an iPad, Apple Corp and Apple Inc logos in a blender.

Happy Nat

The caption above in incorrect. “No Time Or Space” is not a single. It is on one side of an LP.

MarcM

Is it just the green apple?  Ringo Starr’s Blast From The Past had a red apple, George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass Had an orange one and John Lennon’s Imagine had a white one.

Also, what does this mean for future Beatles releases?  Do they have to licence the apple from Apple Inc.?

Davids2443

Those coloured Apple labels on records had business purpose and really only appeared on US/Capitol releases.  The red Apple label on Let It Be was directly due to the fact that the album was actually owned by United Artists for the US and Canada even though EMI owned a majority stake in UA Records by that time.  It’s all business…

As for the green Apple Logo’s, it is a shame that they are being bandied about like a toy, but once again, it’s only business.  The Beats knew what they were doing when they agreed to sell Apple Inc. all of the rights.  They took home a ton of pounds (pun intended) for this.

Hopefully Apple (computer) will be a good steward of the trademarks.  Probably there already is an agreement that only Beatle/Beatle related works and such can use the logo.

Lee Dronick

Hopefully Apple (computer) will be a good steward of the trademarks.? Probably there already is an agreement that only Beatle/Beatle related works and such can use the logo

It is also possible that Apple Inc simply doesn’t want other people using the design for computer and or music purposes. Note that these are trademarks, not just logos, and that puts strict restrictions on how they can be used by people other than Apple.

Davids2443

All true, I misspoke.  I did mean trademark and I am sure that restrictions is what Apple Inc. has in mind.  Once again, I hope they use the power wisely.

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