Record labels, artists, internet
Apple’s new and successful online music store, iTunes, which recently sold its ten millionth download at 99cents, and the Apple iPod, face a legal challenge from Apple Corp, the management company and record label behind the Beatles which was set up in 1968. Apple Corp, based in London, have served papers in the High Court seeking injunctive relief and damages to prevent Apple Computers using the word “Apple” and the Apple Computer’s logo in relation to iTunes and the iPod. It seems that now the Computer company’s activities have spread into the ‘music’ business, Apple Corp is seeking to protect its own business reputation, goodwill and name and is relying on an earlier 1991 agreement it reached with Apple Computers which purportedly prevented Apple Computers using the name Apple or an Apple mark in the music business. Apple Computers were set up in 1977 and the name is allegedly Steve Job’s tribute to the Beatles. The 1991 agreement (which itself was a result of previous litigation over a previous agreement) resulted in Apple Computers agreeing that their use of the Apple name and logo would be restricted to use with computers and never with music.
Apple Computers have acknowledged the 1991 Agreement which specified each parties use of the Apple mark and apple logo(s) but have said “Unfortunately, Apple and Apple Corps now have differing interpretations of this agreement and will need to ask a court to resolve this dispute.”