Cupertino (CA) – Steve Job’s Apple Computer won the first round in a trademark suit, in which the Beatles’ record company “Apple Corps” claimed that the iTunes music store breaks a 1991 agreement, in which the two firms had agreed not to enter into the each other’s business fields.
According to British High Court Judge Anthony Mann, Apple Computer can continue using the “apple” logo on its iTunes music store, as the brand is used in association with the store and not the music itself. During the proceedings of the case, Apple had argued, that the company does not engage in the creative part of music, but rather in transferring data. Apple Corps, however, felt that iTunes was close enough to the music business to justify an injunction and monetary damages for the alleged contract breach.
“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,” Mann said in the ruling.
Apple chief executive Steve Jobs issued a brief statement following the decision, saying that Apple Computer is “glad to put this disagreement behind us.” He continued: “We have always loved the Beatles, and hopefully we can now work together to get them on the iTunes music store.”
Apple Corps, which is owned by Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and the estates of John Lennon and George Harrison, however disagreed and hinted to elevate the argument between the two companies. Neil Aspinall, manager of Apple Corps, told the Associated Press that his company would immediately take the case to Britain’s Court of Appeal: “We felt that during the course of the trial we clearly demonstrated just how extensively Apple Computer has broken the agreement,” Aspinall said.