Everyday trademarks are born. Everyday trademarks disappear from the consumer’s minds and everyday trademarks are infringed. Let’s not forget the classics. Today: Apple versus Apple.
When Apple founder Steve Jobs named his company, he must have foreseen he’d attract the attention of Apple Corps. Apple Corps was the holding company founded by the Beatles in the late 1960s.
In 1978, two years after Apple Computer launched, Apple Corps, owner of the Beatles’ record label Apple Records, sued it for trademark violation. In 1981 they settled with the understanding that Apple Computer would never enter the music industry. Needless to say, this settlement didn’t last. iPod and iTunes, anyone?
The dispute rose again when Apple unveiled iTunes in 2003. It lasted until 2007 when the renamed company Apple Inc. would license certain trademarks back to Apple Corps, including Apple Corps’ granny smith logo.
The Beatles’ music catalogue finally became available on iTunes in 2010 after years of negotiations. Jobs, a die hard Beatles fan, described the whole saga as a “long and winding road”.
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