The battle between Apple Corp., the company that represents
The Beatles, and Apple Inc. has finally come to an end. The two companies have
feuded since the 1980s when Apple Computer first came on the scene.
Apple Corp. filed its first lawsuit against Apple Inc. in
1980, 1989 and then again in 2003. The last lawsuit claimed that Apple
infringed upon a 1991 agreement reached between the two companies by operating
its iTunes Music Store and using the Apple logo.
Apple Corp. lost the case. "I
think that the use of the apple logo is a fair and reasonable use of the mark
in connection with the service, which does not go further and unfairly or
unreasonably suggest an additional association with the creative works
themselves," said Justice Anthony Mann at the time of the ruling.
Today, it appears that the two
companies have settled their long-standing feud. The new agreement replaces
the one first reached in 1991. Apple will own all "Apple" trademarks
and will license certain trademarks back to Apple Corp. for its own use. Apple
Inc. will also continue to operate its iTunes Music Store and use its logos to
promote the online service. Both companies will also pay for their own legal
"We love the Beatles, and it has been painful being at
odds with them over these trademarks. It feels great to resolve this in a
positive manner, and in a way that should remove the potential of further
disagreements in the future," said Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs.
"It is great to put this dispute behind us and move on.
The years ahead are going to be very exciting times for us. We wish Apple Inc.
every success and look forward to many years of peaceful co-operation with
them," said Apple Corp. manager Neil Aspinall.
The only thing left is for Beatles albums to start showing
up on iTunes … just don’t hold your breath.