Apple Computer Is Due to Contest Beatles' Lawsuit in U.K. C

Apple Computer Inc. will return to London's High Court today to contest the latest lawsuit brought by a company owned by the Beatles over the personal-computer maker's use of the Apple trademark. Apple Corps Ltd., owned by the four Beatles or their families, says the Californian company's iTunes online music store breaches a 1991 agreement forbidding the computer maker from using the trademark for any works "whose principal content is music and, or performances.'' Apple Computer would retain the logo for its "core business,'' court documents said.

"Providing both businesses stay within their particular areas, then trademark law allows them to coexist,'' said John Linneker, a partner in intellectual property at London law firm Taylor Wessing. "It's when computers meet the music industry that the trademark conflict blows up.'' The iTunes product allows people to download songs from the Web for 99 cents each and transfer them to Apple Computer's iPod music players. Chief Executive Steve Jobs is betting on digital music devices to help drive sales as the company's share of the computer market wanes.

News source: Bloomberg

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