The legal scuffle between the Beatles’ record label Apple Corps Ltd. and Apple Computers Inc over the use of the name is heating up again. After years of legal wrangling, Apple Corps, which is owned by Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and the widows of John Lennon and George Harrison, agreed in 1981 to allow the computer company to use the Apple name if they would limit their use of it to just computers. However, now that Apple Computers has launched their iTunes digital music service, Apple Corps is claiming the California computer maker is in violation of that agreement, and is suing for damages in a London court.
Apple Computer Inc.’s Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs told the London Times, “The whole thing is unfortunate because we love the Beatles.” In fact, his company showed some of that love in 1991 when Apple Computers reportedly paid Apple Corps over $26 million dollars in a follow-up agreement to the original agreement.
Apple Corps contends that the use of the apple logo with Apple Computer’s new online music store, iTunes, and iPod, the portable device for playing digital music, damages the interests of the Beatles’ famous apple trademark.