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March 27, 2006

Apple is Suing Apple

Apple Corps, the management company for the Beatles, is suing Apple Computer over online music distribution.  This marks the third time that these two have found themselves in court over trade and trademark issues.  The first clash took place in 1980 over trade name confusion.  The two companies settled.  Apple agreed to stay out of the music business and Apple Corp agreed to stay out of the computer business.  Beatles music has never been available for legal download.  The second suit occurred in 1989 over music editing capabilities on the Macintosh platform.  That also ended in a settlement that forbade Apple (the computer company) from distributing music on physical media. 

The third suit involves the Apple's music download service as a violation of the distribution terms in the 1989 agreement.  At that time of the agreement, no one on either side had anticipated commercial music distribution over a network, let alone a piece of the action.  The case begins Wednesday before Mr. Justice Mann in the High Court.  Reports indicate he owns an iPod although neither side has asked for his disqualification.

Stories are in PC Pro, Forbes, the Times Online, and Ars Technica.

March 27, 2006 | Permalink

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