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Apple, Beatles spat about logos not music, says lawyer

Beatles' trademark case comes to court

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Apple vs Apple It's the logo, stupid. That, at least, is what the Apple vs Apple case centres on if opening arguments made by Apple Corp. lawyer Geoffrey Vos QC are anything to go by. It's not about Apple Comp. selling recorded music, it's about the Mac maker promoting the business with its logo, Vos said.

"Apple Computer can go into the recorded music business in any way they want," Vos told the English High Court in London today. "What they cannot do is use Apple [trade]marks to do it."

Vos showed the court an iTunes ad which ended with the familiar monochrome bitten-apple logo. "That advertisement is as flagrant violation of this agreement as it is possible to imagine," he said.

Apple Comp. has in the past claimed iTunes is nothing more than a digital delivery service. Vos was having none of that: "What Apple Computer are not doing using the Apple mark is selling software, delivery systems, or anything of the like. They are selling music," he said, "and that is in violation of the agreement."

That's a reference to the 1991 deal struck between the two companies to govern how each can use their apple trademarks. Vos claimed Apple Comp. CEO Steve Jobs had attempted to buy the Apple trademark from Apple Corp. for $1m, but had been turned down.

The case continues. ®

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