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!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?