Apple and Beatles Settle Trademark Wrangle

07 February 2007

CUPERTINO, California: Apple Computer has wrapped up a decades-long trademark dispute with the Beatles' Apple Corps music company over rights to use the name and logos on the hugely successful iTunes online music store.

Under a new agreement the computer giant will own all trademarks and license some rights back to Apple Corps for its continued use, the companies said in a joint statement.

A UK court last year rejected the music company's case that Apple Computer had violated a 1991 agreement between the two companies barring Apple Computer from using the logo "in connection with musical content".

Apple Computer ceo Steve Jobs said the resolution "should remove the potential of further disagreements in the future".

Apple Corps, owned by surviving Beatles Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, and the families of John Lennon and George Harrison, first began using an image of a green Granny Smith apple on its recordings in the late 1960s. Apple Computer was founded by Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1976, using the logo of an apple with a bite taken out of it.

But the settlement does not extend to permitting Beatles' songs on iTunes - the band is one of the last few popular groups whose music is not available for download - but it does clear the way for the two sides to begin negotiations.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff