May 8, 2006
Apple Computer wins court battle with Beatles
LONDON (Reuters) - Apple Computer is not liable for
trademark infringement against Apple Corps, the music company
owned by the Beatles, a judge in London's High Court ruled on
Apple Corps, owned by Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John
Lennon's widow Yoko Ono and the estate of George Harrison,
argued the computer company had violated a 1991 trademark
agreement by moving into the music business through its
market-leading iTunes online store.
Apple Computer argued in court hearings in London earlier
this year that iTunes was primarily a data transmission
service, which is permitted by the agreement.
The 1991 out-of-court settlement, which included a $26
million payment by Apple Computer, set out areas in which each
party would have exclusive use of their respective fruit-shaped
"I find no breach of the trademark agreement has been
demonstrated," Mr Justice Mann said in his judgment. "The
action therefore fails.
Apple Corps said it would appeal the decision, while Apple
Computer was awarded court costs.