February 6th, 2007

New Tilley Hat

Apples to Apple

Apple and Beatles settle trademark squabble

LONDON (Reuters) - Apple Inc. has settled its long running trademark dispute with The Beatles' company, Apple Corps Ltd, in a deal that could finally pave the way for the Fab Four's songs to be sold on the iTunes music store.

The two companies said Apple Inc. would now own all the trademarks related to "Apple" and would license certain trademarks back to Apple Corps for continued use.

"We love the Beatles, and it has been painful being at odds with them over these trademarks," Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said in a statement.

This was a long-overdue win-win scenario. The agreement is clearly in the Beatles' best interest: Even if they won their lawsuit, Apple Records was in no position to do much. Apple Computer, Inc. will never be mistaken for the Beatles record label. Their 1991 agreement attempted to codify the boundaries of the two companies' domain, but those lines have been blurred. Now, the Beatles can have their apple pie and eat it too: They get to hold on to Apple Corps and sell their catalog digitally through iTunes.

It's about time.