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Ruling favors Apple in Beatles trademark suit

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
A London High Court judge has sided with Apple Computer in a lawsuit brought on by Beatles-owned record label Apple Corps, which charged that the computer company's use of its logo in conjunction with its iTunes and iPod products is in breach of a 1991 contract, reports the BBC.

On Monday, Justice Edward Mann ruled that the Apple Computer used the Apple logo in association with its store, not the music, and therefore was not in breach the existing contract.

The ruling means iPods and iTunes will still be able to carry the Apple name and logo.

Apple Corps, which sought damages and an injunction baring its rival using the Apple logo in its music operations, will appeal, according to the report.

Justice Mann ruled iTunes was "a form of electronic shop" and not involved in creating music.

"I conclude that the use of the apple logo ... does not suggest a relevant connection with the creative work," he wrote in his judgment.

"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."

Apple Corps now must pay Apple Computer's legal bill, estimated at £2m. The judge reportedly refused an interim payment of £1.5m pending further hearings.
post #2 of 29
This is exciting, even though ACorp say they will appeal.

I thought Apple comp would win this. I pointed out clause 4.3 myself here as well as other places. My wife, who is an attorney for CitiCorp, and who deals with these matters had also said that it seems to give Acomp the right to use their mark in this way. I have a link to the '91 contract that I put here before.

If anyone is still interested in reading it, I am posting it again. It isn't too long, and it's pretty easy to understand. It's a scan of the actual paper contract.

http://news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/a...0991tmagr.html
post #3 of 29
I think most reasonable people make the distinction between the two companie's trademarks. In fact, as sad as it is, most younger generation may not even know what the Apple Music label is and their significance.

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post #4 of 29
Talk about gaining reader interest in the article.

Quote:
Ruling favors Apple in Beatles trademark suit

Which Apple? Crap, I guess I have to read it.
post #5 of 29
"Oh noes! Judge owned an iPod, so Apple (Computer) Pwned Him! WE WANT AN APPEAL!!"

I was expecting the opposite result too actually. So although surprised and relieved to hear it's gone the other way, I expect this will keep rumbling on until the appeal is over and done with too. Hopefully conclusively.
post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by fuyutsuki
"Oh noes! Judge owned an iPod, so Apple (Computer) Pwned Him! WE WANT AN APPEAL!!"

I was expecting the opposite result too actually. So although surprised and relieved to hear it's gone the other way, I expect this will keep rumbling on until the appeal is over and done with too. Hopefully conclusively.

Apple Corp can't appeal on that. They agreed to allow him to preside, even though he said he was an iPod, and iTunes user.

Almost all people, and companies, SAY they will appeal, but many don't.

They have to say that at the end of the trial to reserve the right to do so, and often need the judge to agree to it. But, they may not go forward.
post #7 of 29
Apple Corps is now worth a lot less than before the ruling was handed down - Apple Computer should offer to buy them now, and get the catalog and remove the lawsuit hassle.

BTW - what exactly does Apple Corps own? I thought that Michael Jackson owned the song library for the Beatles.
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post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by e1618978
Apple Corps is now worth a lot less than before the ruling was handed down - Apple Computer should offer to buy them now, and get the catalog and remove the lawsuit hassle.

BTW - what exactly does Apple Corps own? I thought that Michael Jackson owned the song library for the Beatles.

I think that Sony (mostly) and Jackson, and one other company, own the written material, while Apple Corp own the performances. I think.
post #9 of 29
I never doubted that apple(computer) would win. They never really had much of a case to begin with.
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post #10 of 29
Give it a rest Apple corps, and Beatles for bleep sake put your tunes on iTunes
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post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by e1618978
Apple Corps is now worth a lot less than before the ruling was handed down - Apple Computer should offer to buy them now, and get the catalog and remove the lawsuit hassle.

BTW - what exactly does Apple Corps own? I thought that Michael Jackson owned the song library for the Beatles.

That's what I heard, so without the Beatles library, what else is there of value?
post #12 of 29
Michael Jackson owns the song lyrics, Apple Corps owns the actual music.
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post #13 of 29
I would hope the appeal is aimed at replacing/rewording the argreement that sparked this whole fuss. The wording clearly allows Apple to sell music through electronic means, but it needs to be more specific so that Corps and Computer know exactly where the line is drawn. (For example, indie artists who sell their music directly through iTunes without an intervening publisher/distributor.)
post #14 of 29
ha, stupid apple corp.


i guess we'll never see beatles music on itunes huh.



that is one big downfall to itunes, they are missing some really great acts.
post #15 of 29
Everybody follow the bouncing ball: "Yoko was a hag who thought she was a singer, but she knew it wouldn't last. Yoko filed a suit in the United Kingdom, acting like a total ass. Get back. Get back. Get back to where you once belonged."
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by Elixir
i guess we'll never see beatles music on itunes huh. that is one big downfall to itunes, they are missing some really great acts.

Apparently, they plan to release the Beatles back catalog on iTunes. They'll probably want to negotiate the price with Apple. <sarcasm>After all, $9.99 is hardly sufficient for an album that is not only a piece of music, it's a piece of art, nay, history!

Also, iTunes has a problem now? Last time I checked they had Ashley Simpson and Britney Spears. We can't expect them to pick up every obscure little artist thrown at them in the feedback box. As far as I can tell, these 'Beatles' people were pretty much a one-hit wonder way back when. I think one of them may have married Linda McCartney, but that's about as famous as they get.</sarcasm>

---

Edit: sarcasm tag now enclses all sarcasm as pointed out by MacCrazy. Comment now in line with W3C Aug '99 Sarcasm Markup Language 1.0 (SGML based, not XML based) spec. I'm thinking of making it XSML as SML is now deprecated.
post #17 of 29
I'm more impressed by the name: Mr Justice Mann! Awesome

post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by jdbartlett
Apparently, they plan to release the Beatles back catalog on iTunes. They'll probably want to negotiate the price with Apple. <sarcasm>After all, $9.99 is hardly sufficient for an album that is not only a piece of music, it's a piece of art, nay, history!</sarcasm>

Also, iTunes has a problem now? Last time I checked they had Ashley Simpson and Britney Spears. We can't expect them to pick up every obscure little artist thrown at them in the feedback box. As far as I can tell, these 'Beatles' people were pretty much a one-hit wonder way back when. I think one of them may have married Linda McCartney, but that's about as famous as they get.

I think your sarcasm marks might be around the wrong section! Although if Apple do add The Beatles catalogue they will have 3 million songs on iTunes - The Beatles seemed to write thousands.
post #19 of 29
Judge Justice Mann..
Now that's a Hollywood screen name if ever I've heard one.

Anyway, if the Beatles wrote thousands of songs, let's hope Apple (computer) doesn't do a U2 and include them all.. I don't want every search I make to come up with obscure Beatles tracks..
But good on the judge for having the sensibility to crack down on these greedy fools.

Jimzip
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post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by MacCrazy
I'm more impressed by the name: Mr Justice Mann! Awesome

Justice is not his first name. It's his title.
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by Kolchak
Justice is not his first name. It's his title.

Oh.
Well it still sounded cool. (Wow. Shows how much I know about the legal system huh..)

Jimzip
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post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by Kolchak
Everybody follow the bouncing ball: "Yoko was a hag who thought she was a singer, but she knew it wouldn't last. Yoko filed a suit in the United Kingdom, acting like a total ass. Get back. Get back. Get back to where you once belonged."

Nice.
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by Kolchak
Justice is not his first name. It's his title.

oh - that spoils my fun
post #24 of 29
At last... let us hope that this is the last we'll hear of this petty argument. Now would Apple Corps and Ono please crawl back under that rock whence they came.
post #25 of 29
Here is the history of the Beatles song catalog.

1. Dick James establishes Northern Songs
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_James

2. Northern Songs goes "public", privately acquired by ATV, sold to Michael
Jackson for $47 million who then sells 50% to Sony for $95 million
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Songs

3. Michael Jackson's financial "troubles" agrees to sell another 25% to Sony

"In a move named by Jackson's advisors as "refinancing," it was announced on April 14, 2006 that Jackson had struck a deal with Sony and Fortress investments. In the deal Sony may be allowed to take control of half of Jackson's 50% stake in Sony/ATV Music Publishing (worth an estimated $1 billion) which Jackson co-owns. Jackson would be left with 25% of the catalogue, the rest would then belong to Sony.

In exchange, Sony negotiated with a loans company on behalf of Jackson. Jackson's $200m in loans were due in December 2005 and were secured on the catalogue. Jackson failed to pay and the loans were sold by the Bank of America to Fortress investments; a company dealing in distressed loans. However, Jackson hasn't as yet sold any of the remainder of his stake. The possible purchase by Sony of 25% of Sony/ATV Music Publishing is a conditional option; it is assumed the singer will try to avoid having to sell part of the catalogue of songs including material by other artists such as Bob Dylan and Destiny's Child. As another part of the deal Jackson was given a new $300 million loan, and a lower interest rate on the old loan to match the original bank of America rate. When the loan was sold to Fortress investments they increased the interest rate to 20%. None of the details are officially confirmed, an advisor to Jackson however did publically announce he had "restructured his finances with the assistance of Sony."

Scott E Pace MD
post #26 of 29
lets cut to the chase, the reason apple corp wanted to fight this is so THEY could have their own download service and therefore control there own label, and pick their own prices AND not be part of itunes. they were dealing with an ever growing pirating problem and didn't want to go itunes to protect themselves. talk to the chili peppers about pirating. itunes just put the ball in their own court, apple corp is now facing a pirated future--and missing the downloading and making money at it boat.. you'll see the appeal will fizzle as the pirated songs of beatles grows, SJ knows this as the other major labels caved, so will apple corps and offer their songs through itunes...and not through their own download service. Hmmmm if apple corp had their own service couldn't apple itunes sue apple corp for patent and trademark infringement????
the tables have turned TO apple itunes. how sweet it is. the last holdout only confirms the power and dominance of itunes/apple.
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post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by NOFEER
lets cut to the chase, the reason apple corp wanted to fight this is so THEY could have their own download service and therefore control there own label, and pick their own prices AND not be part of itunes. they were dealing with an ever growing pirating problem and didn't want to go itunes to protect themselves. talk to the chili peppers about pirating. itunes just put the ball in their own court, apple corp is now facing a pirated future--and missing the downloading and making money at it boat.. you'll see the appeal will fizzle as the pirated songs of beatles grows, SJ knows this as the other major labels caved, so will apple corps and offer their songs through itunes...and not through their own download service. Hmmmm if apple corp had their own service couldn't apple itunes sue apple corp for patent and trademark infringement????
the tables have turned TO apple itunes. how sweet it is. the last holdout only confirms the power and dominance of itunes/apple.

I don't see what that would have to do with this.

They could have had their own download service anytime they wanted to. They could have used any encoding and DRM they wanted, except, of course, for Fairplay.

Even if they had won this case (and it still might go to appeal), it wouldn't have changed any of that.
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by techno
I think most reasonable people make the distinction between the two companie's trademarks. In fact, as sad as it is, most younger generation may not even know what the Apple Music label is and their significance.

Apple Records was a subdevision of EMI, so how is that significant? They make money because they own rights to creative content not created by them. How is it sad that the younger generation doesnt know that? Apple Records won 80% profit on all Beatles sales in court when the Beatles broke up, so how does that make them any less greedy or unimportant than any other record industry today?
post #29 of 29
And I was so hoping for a precedent for The Rutles to sue that computer company in Foxtrot.
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