London (England) – As it continues to worry about trademark issues with Cisco over the iPhone, Apple Computer today closed the chapter on another trademark battle, claiming it has come to an agreement with The Beatles over the legal ownership of Apple’s classic multi-colored logo.
The Beatles claimed that the logo was owned by them, as the logo for their media company, Apple Corps, and filed suit against the computer company last year, after a long period of unsuccessful negotiations. Now, Apple has settled with the group, in a move that may be more focused on getting them on its good side, and hopefully opening up the path for The Beatles to finally allow their music to be purchased through iTunes.
The Beatles are part of a diminishing group of medium loyalists who refuse to allow digital distribution of their content, even though it opens up a completely new revenue stream for them. Today’s settlement, which seemed to be an offering of mutual friendship more than a financial transaction, underscores the possibility of Apple wanting iTunes to be available when the group decides to go digital. “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 Steve Jobs in a statement.
The reason for not jumping on the iTunes bandwagon is not entirely a matter of The Beatles’ legal dispute with Apple. The band has also refused to license its content to competitors like Sony’s Connect or Microsoft’s new Zune Marketplace, even though the record label that publishes its music, EMI, has continuously encouraged the group to branch off to the digital market.
However, in a press statement, as well as in interviews with news wire agency AFP, neither Apple nor EMI said anything about the potential of The Beatles content finding its way to iTunes as a result of today’s settlement.