The BBC is reporting that The Beatles have lost their court challenge against Apple Computer over its iPod and iTunes download service.
Mr Justice Anthony Mann ruled that the computer company used the Apple logo in association with its store, not the music, and so was not in breach. The ruling means iPods and iTunes will still be able to carry the Apple name and logo.
The Beatles’ label, which wanted London’s High Court to award damages and stop its rival using the Apple logo in its music operations, will appeal.
Mr Justice Mann ruled iTunes was “a form of electronic shop” and not involved in creating music. “I conclude that the use of the apple logo … does not suggest a relevant connection with the creative work,” he wrote in his judgment. “I think that the use of the apple logo is a fair and reasonable use of the mark in connection with the service, which does not go further and unfairly or unreasonably suggest an additional association with the creative works themselves.”
Apple Corps must pay its rival’s legal bill, estimated at Â£2m, but the judge refused an interim payment of Â£1.5m pending further hearings.
Apple Computer chief executive Steve Jobs said: “We are glad to put this disagreement behind us. “We have always loved The Beatles, and hopefully we can now work together to get them on the iTunes Music Store.”