May 08, 2006

Apple Corps Smacked Down

Via The Times (via Reuters and like a billion other sources):

Apple Wins Trademark Case With Beatles

won its courtroom battle against the Beatles on Monday when a judge ruled the company's iTunes Music Store did not infringe on the trademark of Apple Corps, which represents the band's interests.

In a trial which included the playing of disco hit "Le Freak" in London's High Court, Apple Corps argued the computer company had violated a 1991 trademark agreement by moving into the music business.

Apple Computer, which has sold millions of iPods and more than a billion song downloads, held that iTunes was primarily a data transmission service and permitted by the agreement.

The Beatles are high-profile holdouts from Internet music services like iTunes, but it emerged during the trial that Apple Corps is preparing the band's catalog to be sold online for the first time, according to a submission by Neil Aspinall, managing director of Apple Corps and a former Beatles road manager.

"We are glad to put this disagreement behind us," Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said. "We have always loved the Beatles, and hopefully we can now work together to get them on the iTunes Music Store."

Jobs can keep dreaming. Apple Corps already has announced an appeal and I'm quite sure that once they make their performance catalog (remember, Sony and Michael Jackson own the publishing rights to most of their work) available for download, the iTunes Music Store won't be privy to it. Unless they (Apple Corps) wisens up and wants to make milllions from day one with an exclusive deal.

Bonus: Think Secret's article includes a download link to the 34-page decision (as a PDF).

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Posted by ronn at May 8, 2006 10:33 AM

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