The Beatles vs. Apple, part III, starts Wednesday

Apple Computer Inc. will face another legal challenge Wednesday in London court from Apple Corps, the company representing the Beatles.

Apple Computer will face another legal challenge Wednesday in a London court from the company representing the Beatles, which alleges that the sale of music through iTunes violates a 1991 agreement restricting how the computer maker would use its logo.

Apple Corps says those restrictions prevent the computer company from using its logo for the popular iTunes music service, which sells songs over the Internet.

Apple Computer says it is allowed to run a data transfer service under the agreement, but Apple Corps contends the computer company was not permitted to sell music.

The two companies have had long-standing quarrels over the fruit logo even though the company names are different. Apple Corps uses a green apple, while the computer company has used black, grey and rainbow-colored apples with a distinctive bite mark.

In Apple Computer's early days, Apple Corps sued over trademark disagreements. In 1989, Apple Corps sued again, and the computer company settled out of court in 1990, paying about US$25 million. The two signed an agreement in October 1991 defining the use of the Apple Computer logos at the center of the current dispute.

A settlement may be the easiest route for Apple Computer, whose iTunes music service continues to hold about 70 percent market share worldwide for downloaded music. Apple Computer announced in February it has sold one billion songs on iTunes.

But selling music is only mildly profitable for Apple Computer. Music sales act as a lure for its line of music players. It's estimated that iTunes generates revenue for the company of around US$0.33 per track, a sum quickly gobbled up by overhead for running the service, said Jonathan Arber, analyst at Ovum. The company won't reveal specific revenue figures related to iTunes, he said.

The two living Beatles, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney, and widows of George Harrison and John Lennon, have not authorized Beatles songs to be distributed online through iTunes.

Apple Corps and Apple Computer could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?