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Now in its twelfth year, Class 46 is dedicated to European trade mark law and practice. This weblog is written by a team of enthusiasts who want to spread the word and share their thoughts with others.

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Beatles' records on an apple-shaped USB-stick - do I sense a little provocation?

 The Beatles have hesitated for a very long time whether to go digital - now they have, in the form of a limited edition apple-shaped USB-stick containing 14 albums for the price of $ 280.

Apple Corps, the Beatles founded holding company of the Beatles's record label Apple Records, has been in a number of well publicized trade mark disputes with Apple Computers. The clash of the companies was once again inevitable when Apple Computers started using the APPLE brand for music players (iPod) and music distribution (iTunes). In 2003, Apple Corps sued Apple Computers for breach of an earlier settlement over the use of APPLE for iTunes before the English High Court. In May 2006, the judge decided in favour of Apple Computers. The parties later settled their disputes. Under the settlement, Apple Computers owns all the trade mark rights in the APPLE brand and licenses them back to Apple Corps for some uses. Allegedly, Apple Computer paid $ 500 million for the rights in the APPLE brand.

Those uses apparently include the distribution of music - I assume Apple Corps is not selling the USB-sticks in violation of the agreement. However, I sense a little provocation. I mean, how many people associate the Beatles with an apple? How many, on the other hand, associate an apple-shape computer peripheral with Apple Computer?

Posted by: Mark Schweizer @ 18.52
Tags: settlement, licensing,
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Submitted By:
07 November 2009 @ 13.13
It's an interesting test of Apple's sense of humour...

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