Apple Heads To Court In UK Over Beatles Lawsuit

First brought to light by Fox News this last summer, most Observers know that The Beatles have sued Apple. The Fab 2 (Plus Widows) are suing Apple over the iTunes Music Store and the iPod in a case that could have far-reaching implications for the Mac maker. At issue, of course, is whether or not Apple has the right to use the Apple name in doing business in the music world. The Beatles -- who own the older, and music-oriented Apple Corps -- say Apple canit, while Apple CEO Steve Jobs says Apple can.

Bloomberg is reporting that Apple and Apple are headed to court today in London. In addition to generally contesting the lawsuit, Bloomberg says that Apple is seeking to have the case heard in a California, while The Beatles not too surprisingly trying to keep the case in their home territory. From the article:

Apple Corps Ltd., owned by the four Beatles or their families, says the Californian companyis iTunes online music store breaches a 1991 agreement forbidding the computer maker from using the trademark for any works "whose principal content is music and, or performances." Apple Computer would retain the logo for its "core business," court documents said.

"Providing both businesses stay within their particular areas, then trademark law allows them to coexist," said John Linneker, a partner in intellectual property at London law firm Taylor Wessing. "Itis when computers meet the music industry that the trademark conflict blows up."


The two companiesi original agreement on the Apple trademark, signed in 1981, allowed the Californian company to use the name only for the sale of computers. Apple Computer later used the logo for computers to edit and record music, prompting the Beatlesi company to file a lawsuit in 1989. The companies settled their dispute in 1991 and signed a new agreement after a trial lasting more than 100 days at the High Court.

That contract stipulated Apple Computer could use the logo for computers, data processing and telecommunications, while the Beatles could retain it for music, according to documents filed by the pop groupis lawyers at the High Court.

Thereis more information and background in the full article at Bloombergis Web site.