Apple vs. Apple
Thu, 30 Mar 2006 09:43:46
Apple Computer founder Steve Jobs may be wishing he’d never paid tribute to one of his favorite bands, The Beatles, because it’s left him paying and paying and paying.
Jobs supposedly named his company after the record label that the Beatles called home -- Apple Corps Ltd. Now, the British label alleges that the American computer giant has picked their iconic apple logo. This marks nearly 30 years of courtroom battles between the companies. After first butting heads in the late '70s, a key agreement in 1981 allowed both companies to maintain their similar logos, but with conditions attached: Apple Corps Ltd. could use their apple to promote music performances and Apple Computer could use theirs to attach to computer hardware and software.
With iTunes, the record label feels that Apple Computer is encroaching upon their territory. The tug-of-war trial is expected to last for at least a week. The label’s attorney, Geoffrey Vos, claims that Apple Computer offered a million dollars in exchange for being able to use their logo on iTunes. The offer, Vos said, was rejected. When they take center stage, Apple Computer’s legal team is expected to argue that their right to connect the logo to their music making and reproducing services was protected in a 1991 agreement.
That initial compromise drew strict battle lines for the logo design, with the musicmakers ordered to produce green apples and the computer manufacturers ordered to make multicolored or rainbow apples. Ten years later, in a separate suit concerning digital music interfaces and music-making software, Jobs and company paid a $26.5 million settlement. If they’re hit with penalties again, the iPod-makers will fortunately have a $1.335 billion profit from 2005 to draw upon.
--the ARTISTdirect Staff