Apple Corps v Apple Computer

Apple Corps V Apple Computer

Apple Corps v Apple Computer

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Between 1978 and 2006 there were a number of legal disputes between Apple Corps (owned by The Beatles) and the computer manufacturer Apple Computer (now Apple Inc.) over competing trademark rights. The High Court of Justice handed down a judgment on 8 May 2006 in favour of Apple Computer, but the companies did not announce a final settlement until 5 February 2007.

History of trademark disputes

1978–1981

In 1978, Apple Corps, the Beatles-founded holding company and owner of their record label, Apple Records, filed a lawsuit against Apple Computer for trademark infringement. The suit was settled in 1981 with an undisclosed amount being paid to Apple Corps. This amount had been estimated to be US$50–US$250 million, but was later revealed to be US$80,000.

1986–1989

In 1986, Apple Computer added MIDI and audio-recording capabilities to its computers, including the advanced Ensoniq 5503 DOC sound chip from famous synthesizer maker Ensoniq into the Apple II<small>GS</small> computer. In 1989, this led Apple Corps to sue again, claiming violation of the 1981 settlement agreement. The outcome of this litigation effectively spelled the end of any further development of the...
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