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Apple vs Apple trial date set

But will the Mac maker own the music industry by then?

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Apple Computer will face Apple Corporation, the Beatles' recording company, in court in just under a year's time.

According to the Mac maker's latest 10-Q filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the two Apples will battle it out over which of them has the right to use the word 'apple' in relation to the music business: Apple Corp. because it's been doing so since the 1960s, or Apple Comp. because it's been doing so via iTunes since 2002.

And the date of the UK court hearing: 27 March 2006.

Apple and Apple have been here before, with Corp. suing Comp. a number of times over the last 20 years as it has perceived the Mac maker trading on its trademark toes. Those cases ended with Comp. settling out of court, paying Corp. huge sums, and agreeing not to enter the music market again. But with the iTunes Music Store, Apple Comp. has gone too far, Corp. alleges, and is suing for damages.

Last month, Apple Comp. said iTunes had sold more than 350m song downloads, and we expect that by the time the case comes to court - if it comes to court; there's still room for yet another settlement - iTunes will have sold at least 1.7bn songs. ®

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