Apple Drops Law Firm as Beatles Lawsuit Drags On, Report Says

The London Evening Standard reported Tuesday that Apple Computer has dropped the law firm Linklaters in its legal dispute with the Beatlesi record label Apple Corps after the firm reportedly recommended the Mac maker settle for US$36.65 million, far higher than raised Apple wanted.

It now appears the dismissal of Linklaters will further delay any closure of the case for the foreseeable future, sources told the newspaper. Apple Computersi new legal representative, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, is now becoming familiar with the case, which will be heard in a London High Court.

The dispute centers on the computer groupis use of the Apple name to promote his iTunes online music service and its iPod digital music player. Apple Corp claims Appleis chief executive, Steve Jobs, breached a 1991 legally binding deal by using the Apple name and logo to promote its online music service.