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Apple Beats The Beatles Over Trademark

David A. Utter
Staff Writer
Published: 2006-05-08

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The third time in court was not the charm for record label Apple Corps, which had sought damages from Apple Computer over the use of the Apple logo in association with iTunes.

The battles over what Apple Computer can and cannot do with its logo when it comes to music have been as complicated as McCartney's bass line in "Blackbird." But Apple Corps may have reached too far in trying to win a third judgment against Apple Computer over what the technology company can and cannot do with the Apple logo and music.

BBC News reported the ruling from London't High Court came down in favor of the maker of iPods and iTunes, stating the Apple logo was associated with iTunes the store and not the music being sold through it.

Without a connection to the music, The Beatles Apple Corps label had no case, despite its efforts to prove otherwise. A lawyer for the label downloaded a song to an iPod in court, showing how the Apple logo appeared several times during the download.

Unlike the two previous court cases, the music label did not walk away with bags of Apple Computers' cash in hand. The last time the two sides exchanged angry legal missive in court ended with a settlement reportedly worth $30 million.

The real loss has been to the fans. Beatles music cannot be sold in digital form, and while that does not pose a problem for the older fans who have bought CDs to replace or supplement their aging vinyl record collections, it does mean less exposure of The Beatles canon to younger fans.

Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing probably depends on how much the reader liked Sgt. Pepper's, probably.

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About the Author:
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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