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Beatles Label Sues Apple iTunes in Trademark Suit

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The Beatles management company, called Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) Corps, said on Friday it is seeking a court injunction against Apple Computers Inc., insisting the computer maker’s iTunes online music store breaches the band’s trademark. The latest battle has a lot of history to it, according to The Register story: back in the early 1980s, Apple Corp. sued Apple Comp. for trading on its name. The case was settled out of court, with Apple Comp. agreeing to pay Apple Corp. a large sum of money and promising not to offer music products. Apple Corp. sued again in 1990, which again ended up in an out-of-court settlement. Presumably it won the right to make play music on the Mac, since the platform has been able to do so ever since.

However, with iTunes, things have changed, according to the Beatles company: “Specifically, (the) complaint is made over the use by Apple Computer of the word “Apple” and apple logos in conjunction with its new application for downloading pre-recorded music from the Internet,” the London-based company said in a statement.

According to Fox News: The case was apparently filed a short time ago in London’s High Court of Justice, but was just served on Apple Computers in California in the last couple of days.

Their winnings against Apple Computers have come to an estimated $50 million so far, accoriding to the Fox story, and it seems they are now thirsting for more…

Mac Observer: “What’s silly, though, is that today there is zero chance of any confusion in the market place in any way whatsoever between Apple Corps. and Apple Computer. Trademarks are granted to prevent confusion in the market place, but who could possibly think the iTMS or an Apple iPod could possibly be involved with The Beatles or Apple Corps?”

For more on the history and background, read this Forbes story