BusinessWeek Digs Into Apple/Beatles Lawsuit

BusinessWeekis Alex Salkever has dug into the Apple Corps. vs. Apple Computer lawsuit, and his research says that a huge victory and large settlement for The Beatles is unlikely. He bases some of his opinion on language from the two entitiesi previous agreement from the early 1990s, and in part on analysis of that language by an attorney. From the article:

This time the outcome is far from a lock for Apple Corps. Make no mistake: There will be a settlement. No one benefits from pushing a case all the way through a full trial and appeals because the costs are prohibitive. But analyst predictions that the case could cost Apple Computer hundreds of millions of dollars in settlement payments, even the use of its own name on music products, are way out of line.

"FAIR READING."  Why do I say this? Although the case is wending its way through British courts right now, a parallel suit was filed in a Northern California federal court at the same time. Both parties agreed on Sept. 21 to consolidate the two cases in Britain. A close reading of the California filing, which is similar to the British one, reveals an extremely complex case -- one that a London judge has already criticized for a lack of clarity. But some important language in the case appears to support Apple Computeris claim that it did not break previous trademark agreements or contracts.

This opinion runs in contrast to a report from entertainment magazine Variety earlier this month that cited rumors of a "mind boggling" settlement that might be in the works.

Mr. Salkeveris full column goes into much more detail on exactly why he doesnit see a big settlement in the offing.