Apple Music trademark application blocked by U.S. appeals court

Apple lost a bid to register part of a federal trademark for “Apple Music” on Tuesday after a U.S. appeals court ruled for a jazz musician who challenged the company’s application.

Apple Music Live

Blake Brittain for Reuters:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit rejected Apple’s argument that it had priority over trumpeter Charlie Bertini’s “Apple Jazz” trademark rights based on its ownership of an earlier trademark from the Beatles’ music label Apple Corps Ltd.

The court allowed Bertini to block Apple’s bid for a federal Apple Music trademark covering live performances, one of several trademark uses Apple sought to secure.

Apple launched its streaming service in 2015 and applied the same year for a federal “Apple Music” trademark covering several categories of music and entertainment services. Bertini opposed the application, arguing the name would cause confusion with the “Apple Jazz” branding he had used since 1985 to advertise concerts… But a U.S. Trademark Office tribunal ruled for Apple in 2021, finding it had earlier rights to the name based on a 1968 “Apple” trademark for sound recordings it purchased from Apple Corps in 2007.

A unanimous Federal Circuit panel reversed the decision to dismiss Bertini’s opposition Tuesday. It said Apple could not “tack” its trademark rights for live performances to the Apple Corps trademark for sound recordings, a different category of goods.

MacDailyNews Take: Trademark or not, Apple Music Live is available on Apple’s Music app here.

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