Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Apple having problems with iTunes musice store

Apple is being sued by the Beatles' record company for violation of an agreement between the two companies over a trademark "field of use" conflict. Due to the WSJ being a paid subscription site I have copied and pasted the article below.


Apple, Beatles Face OffOver iTunes Music Store
Associated PressMarch 28, 2006 10:36 a.m.

LONDON -- Two legendary companies in the music industry are to meet Wednesday in a London courtroom to fight it out over what might be the world's most recognizable logo: A simple piece of fruit.

Apple Corps Ltd., the Beatles' record company and guardian of the band's musical heritage and business interests, is suing Apple Computer Inc., claiming the company violated a 1991 agreement by entering the music business with its iTunes online music store.

The case will be heard by Judge Martin Mann, who said during pretrial hearings that he was the owner of an iPod digital music player, which is used with the iTunes music store.
At issue is a 1991 pact that ended a long-running trademark fight between the two Apples in which each agreed not to tread on the other's toes by entering into a "field of use'' agreement over the trademark.

Apple Computer said in a statement that "unfortunately, Apple and Apple Corps now have differing interpretations of this agreement and will need to ask a court to resolve this dispute."
Apple Corps -- founded in 1968 and owned by surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, the widow of John Lennon and the estate of George Harrison -- is seeking both an injunction to enforce the 1991 agreement and monetary damages for the alleged contract breach.

The computer company's logo is a cartoonish apple with a neat bite out of the side; the record company is represented by a perfect, shiny green Granny Smith apple.
Apple Computer had asked to have the case heard in California, where it is based, but Judge Mann rejected that application in 2004 and ordered the case be heard at the stately Royal Courts of Justice in central London.
The iTunes music store first opened for business in the U.S. in April 2003; it is now available across Europe, in Australia, Japan, and Canada. About three million songs are downloaded every day from the service. In the U.S., most songs costs 99 cents; in the U.K, they fetch 79 pence ($1.38). Not available on the service are Beatles' songs, which haven't been licensed for downloading.

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