The trademark for The Beatles’ Apple Corps logo is now owned by technology company Apple Inc, according to a noticed posted by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.
The news is another step in the lengthy trademark dispute between the two companies. In 1978 Apple Records filed a suit against Apple Computer for trademark infringement. The case was settled in 1981 with the computer firm forced to pay $80,000 to The Beatles’ company. As a condition of the settlement, Apple Computer agreed to stay out of the music business.
Another dispute arose in 1989 with Apple Corps alleging that the computers’ ability to play back MIDI music was in violation of the 1981 agreement; it was settled in 1991.
A third case was brought in 2003 when Apple Corps alleged that the iTunes Music Store and the iPod contravened the agreement not to distribute music. The Beatles’ company lost the case in May 2006, including the legal rights to their famous Granny Smith logo, which would be licensed back to the label for use on products.
To ensure final ownership, in March 2011 Apple Inc filed trademark applications with the European Trademarks Office under 14 international classifications covering various purposes including computer hardware, online social networking services, mobile phones, musical instruments, games, clothing/headgear, advertising, education and broadcasting.
On 23 October 2012 the Canadian IP Office disclosed that the trademark for The Beatles’ famous label logo is now formally owned by Apple Inc. The company obtained the trademark after winning an attempt to block the transfer by two companies, Apple Box Productions Sub Inc. and Lovecraft Ltd.