Apple’s settlement with Beatles could be ‘biggest settlement in legal history’

“Beatles fan Steve Jobs could lose a large bite of his Apple to his idols. Beatles’ company, Apple Corps., is involved in a legal battle with Jobs’ Apple Computer, claiming the hardware manufacturer is in breach of a 1991 agreement that that forbids it from using the trademark for any application ‘whose principle content is music.’ The two companies have been involved in a number of court battles over the years involving the use of the Apple trademark,” Gordon Masson reports for Variety.

“Word among the legal community is that an out of court settlement could be imminent and that it will massively dwarf the $26.5 million paid to the Fab Four’s company in 1991 in a row over trademark use,” Masson reports. “One lawyer told Daily Variety, ‘People are expecting this to be the biggest settlement anywhere in legal history, outside of a class action suit. The numbers could be mind boggling.'”

Full article here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
The Beatles gearing up for a fight over Apple’s iTunes Music Store – June 03, 2003
The Beatles sue Apple Computer over iPod, iTunes – September 12, 2003
Sosumi: more on the Beatles’ lawsuit against Apple Computer, Inc. – September 12, 2003
Forbes: Apple vs. Apple; iTunes Music Store just might end up with exclusive Beatles deal – September 12, 2003
Apple and Apple issue statements regarding ‘Apple’ trademark lawsuit – September 12, 2003
Analyst: Apple vs. Apple trademark infringment suit just ‘a blip on the radar’ – September 13, 2003
Steve Jobs comments on Apple vs. Apple trademark dispute – September 17, 2003
Beatles’ Apple vs. Jobs’ Apple; 1991 agreement allows Mac maker ‘data transmission services, even music data’ – February 26, 2004
Fox News: Paul McCartney could end up owning Apple’s iTunes Music Store – August 14, 2004


  1. I hate the beatles, they are just money grubbing old men who don’t even remember how to make decent music anymore. Doesn’t everybody already that would download Beatles music already have it anyway?

  2. Keefe..

    Too young, I guess, to realize what the Beatles accomplished…

    But this fight over Apple Computers / Apple Corps Records wont go away, till a judge somewhere figures out that one has nothig to do with the other !!

    But, my suspicion is…. the drive factor behind this latest bout isnt the 2 remaining Beatles…

    My gut tells me its Mrs Lennon…
    But I may be way off base here… I dunno

  3. John and George were the only ones worth a Damn. Paul is the deplorable asshole. I doubt this shit would be happening if John was still around. This lawsuit is such bull and the judge and the jury should know that.

  4. I don’t care what the beatles accomplished. Hardly anyones heard of Apple corp. I a Brit, hope the remaining Beatles lose this as they really don’t deserve it. They havnt done bollocks all since the ones with talent have passed on. There are other companies out that have had the apple name waaaay before the beatles Apple corp. Theyre just a greedy lot and should die out as soon as possible. Thats rock n roll man!

  5. Apple’s future looks to be strongly leaning to music and entertainment and fighting Microsoft to be the glue that holds future home entertainment systems together.

    With the amount of cash Apple has in reserve, if thye can get rid of the fscking Beatles *for good* it would be well worth a large settlement.

    The main problem with Apple having signed settlement contracts with Apple Corps in the past is that Apple’s options for fighting future suits is quite limited–much of the fact finding a court would have to do is likely already admitted in the agreements, and instead of a standard copyright/trademark infringement suit the battle would be primarily contractual.

    A settlement rescinding all prior and future restrictions on Apple’s product design and marketing and permitting Apple to use the Apple name unrestricted would be worth almost anything Apple paid for it.

    Next revision iMac G5 with hardware synthesizer, anyone? L:)

  6. Well if they have to pay through the nose for this settlement, they better darn well get an exclusive on Beatle music at the iTunes store.

    Other than that, well I am not impressed with Apple corps and never impressed with the Beatles, although Lennon and Harrison were decent.

  7. Well I know tons about the Beatles but they’ve already made their millions.. the Apple Corps era was a sickening slide to utter shite music. The Beatles’ ‘Entrepreneurial’ side was so bloody awful, well, it ruined them, until the band broke up.

    Lennon’s solo career was dreadful, as was anything McCartney touched…

    Harrison was the only one doing great things.

    Pretty sure there was another guy, but… does anyone remember Thomas the Tank Engine..

  8. Apple’s stock will go into a nose dive and 7500 employees will be laid off.

    Sony will buy Apple and resell the Beatles catalog back to Apple Corps to obliterate the judgement and we’ll be downloading the Beatles catalog from the Sony iTunes Music Store.

    Steve will leave to run Disney and OSX will run on VAIOs and it’s all that bitch Yoko Ono’s fault.

  9. Why don’t we protest against this action of Apple Corps? I mean, people don’t know what Apple Corps is anymore. Does it stand for anything these days? Apple Corps only holds a catalogue for crying out loud. Why are they making such a fuss about it? These dudes are really being fussy, just to make some money. It’s not as if Apple is infringing on an established brand name. Okay, so Apple made an arrangement in 1991. This makes everything harder. But Apple Corps should embrace Apple for what they have done for the music. On another note, does Apple�s offering of GarageBand and Logic also mean an infringement?

    Come on people, when Real does something we don’t like, we protest. But now some old guys want a piece of our Apple because they are sour and persons of so-called principle, we do nothing.

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