Apple Files for Trademark on Beatles Apple Corps. Logo

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.