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Monday, February 5, 2007

Apple Vs. Apple Settled

Apple Inc. and Apple Corps have finally settled a long standing argument about the Apple multicolored logo. Apple Corps is the entity that controls the Beetles music interests.

In 1978, Apple Records filed suit against Apple Computer for trademark infringement. The suit was settled in 1981 with the payment of $80,000 to Apple Corps. As a condition of the settlement, Apple Computer agreed to stay out of the music business. A dispute subsequently arose in 1989 when Apple Corps sued, alleging that Apple Computer's machines' ability to playback MIDI music was a violation of the 1981 settlement agreement. In 1991 another settlement, of around $26.5 million, was reached.[5][6] In September 2003 Apple Computer was again sued by Apple Corps, this time for introducing the iTunes Music Store and the iPod, which Apple Corps asserted was a violation of Apple's agreement not to distribute music.[7] The trial opened on March 29, 2006 in the UK[8] and, in a judgement issued on May 8, 2006, Apple Corps lost the case.[9][10][6]

In January 2007, Apple Computer changed its company name to Apple Inc., which it announced during a keynote address in which several Beatles songs were prominently featured in a new product demo. This has led to widespread speculation about a new, still unannounced deal between the two companies regarding the Apple trademark and the possibility of the Beatles' catalog being made available on iTunes.[11][12]

On February 5, 2007, Apple Inc. and Apple Corps announced a settlement of their trademark dispute under which Apple Inc. will own all of the trademarks related to “Apple” and will license certain of those trademarks back to Apple Corps for their continued use. The settlement ends the ongoing trademark lawsuit between the companies, with each party bearing its own legal costs, and Apple Inc. will continue using its name and logos on iTunes. The settlement includes terms that are confidential. [2]

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