Apple Computer, Beatles Firm in Court Over Name
Apple Computer Inc. and the Beatles’ record company, Apple Corps, went to court in Britain on Wednesday over who gets to use the name now that the computer company has entered the music business on the Internet.
The two companies reached a deal in 1991 after a fight over the trademark, signing an agreement that set out who could use the name and logo, and when.
But the British record company says the American computer company broke the deal by using the Apple name to market its new iTunes Internet music service.
In a preliminary skirmish Wednesday, Apple Computer asked the court to rule that the full legal battle should be dealt with by California courts, not British courts.
The computer company’s lawyer said the 1991 agreement allowed Apple Computer to use the name for data transmission services, even if the data included material such as music, which was within the record label’s “field of use.”
The hearing is scheduled to last three days.
Apple Computer’s shares rose 45 cents to $22.81 on Nasdaq.