“It seems to me that Apple Computer is doing just fine without any help from the Beatles. McCartney will not join Apple’s board, and AppleCorps will not take a big stake in Apple Computer. Much as I am a Beatles fan, this trademark complaint wouldn’t be happening if iTunes had been a failure. OK, maybe it still would have, but no one would be talking about such huge settlements if iTunes and the iPod had failed to become the cultural phenomena that they have,” Arik Hesseldahl writes for Forbes.
“Apple could make this entire thing go away by spinning off the entire iTunes Music Store as a subsidiary and stop promoting it under the Apple Computer name. This would harm its prospects not one bit. No one who’s been awake during the last year hasn’t heard of an iPod or seen it in one of those TV ads in heavy rotation. The iPod brand is turning out to be as powerful a brand name as that of its corporate parent. By itself, it’s also free of any expensive encumbrances involving musicians who haven’t done anything terribly interesting in the last few years,” Hesseldahl writes.
“That won’t change the fact that Apple Computer will probably have to cough up for the time it’s already spent promoting the iPod and iTunes under the Apple brand, but it would also take all the oxygen out of the Beatles’ legal complaints the next time they send forth their lawyers on another shakedown mission,” Hesseldahl writes. “Jobs is no slouch when it comes to business. He had to see this problem on the horizon when the iTunes business plan was first drawn up. Paying off the Beatles couldn’t help but be part of the contingency plans. This is where Apple’s $4.5 billion cash reserve will come in handy. A fat check to the Beatles won’t sting as much now as it once would have.”
Full article here.
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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
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Apple’s settlement with Beatles could be ‘biggest settlement in legal history’ – September 13, 2004