Monday, February 05, 2007

Apple, Apple Corps settle trademark dispute

Apple, with a current trademark dispute over iPhone with Cisco, has settled its trademark dispute with the Beatles' Apple Corps.

The New York Times reported on Feb. 6: Apple Inc., the maker of the iPod, and Apple Corps, the guardian of the Beatles’ music interests, announced yesterday [Feb. 5] that they had settled their dispute over the technology company’s name and its use of an apple logo.

The Times also noted: The new agreement replaces one signed by the companies in 1991, when Apple Corps, which represents Paul McCartney; Ringo Starr; the estate of George Harrison; and Yoko Ono, the widow of John Lennon, moved to ensure that the computer company did not use the apple logo in the music business. The Apple Corps logo is a Granny Smith apple. The logo for Apple Inc. is an apple with a bite taken out of it.

But things changed in 2003 when Apple Computer, as it was known until it dropped “Computer” from its name last month, began signing deals with record labels to distribute music online through iTunes.

from financial times:

Apple’s demand that record companies do away with copyright protection for songs they sell online has set up a bitter battle between the two camps as they prepare for broad-ranging contract negotiations.

Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, published an open letter on Tuesday [6 Feb 07] arguing that selling music online without such protections – known as digital rights management – would make it easier for consumers to listen to music on different devices, boosting the overall market.

However, several music executives on Wednesday dismissed his suggestion as disingenuous and reiterated their argument that inter-operability between devices would be improved if Apple were to license its own DRM to other companies rather than doing away with the protections altogether. They also suggested that Mr Jobs’s true motive was to defuse legal problems in Europe, where Apple is being asked to make iTunes compatible with other devices.

Torgeir Waterhouse, senior adviser to Norway’s Consumer Council, said Mr Jobs was “pushing the ball as far away from himself as he can”.


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