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 PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

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 News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?