Apple Computer has won a major legal battle today when a High Court judge in London ruled that the company had not breached a trademark agreement made 15 years ago with the Beatles’ Apple Corps.
The 1991 Trade Mark Agreement gave Apple Corps – owned by Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and the widows of John Lennon and George Harrison – exclusive rights to use “apple” marks for the record business, argued Apple Corps.
But Lord Grabiner, QC, for Apple Computer, countered that “only a moron in a hurry” could confuse his client’s download system – which, he said, was basically transmitting data – with a record label.
During the hearing, counsel for Apple Corps demonstrated to Mr Justice Mann, himself an iPod owner, how to download from iTunes.
He chose the 1978 disco hit Le Freak by Chic which reverberated around the courtroom as he pointed out to the judge how many times the “apple” logo appeared on the website screen as he went through the procedure on the equipment set up in the courtroom.
08May06 — 6
Oh dear, however will Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and the widows of John Lennon and George Harrison be able to afford their beer and chips now then?
Wot? You mean the Beatles aren’t the ones who make the computers? Who makes the computers then? It is the Beatles who make the iPod though, yeah?
I thought Forrest Gump and Lootenant Dan would have greater grounds for a claim.
The last time the phrase “a moron in a hurry” formed the plank of a legal case was when the Sun sued the then fledgling Daily Star for blatantly trying to nick their readers by producing a paper that was almost indistinguishable in terms of both presentation and content.
The defence claimed that “only a moron in a hurry” could possibly confuse the two. The prosecution countered that morons in a hurry was precisely the target market the Star was aimed at – but they went on to lose anyway.
It’s most encouraging the English judges, once the most obdurate eschewers of modernity and its works, have progressed to the embrace of the information age.
The information age has sod all to do with it. Apple Computers breached a trademark, lost in court, signed an agreement, broke the agreement, lost in court, signed an agreement, then broke the agreement. There’s no way they should have won this. I bet they lose on appeal.