Law 421Apples Eat Themselves
November 1, 2012
Geoffrey L. Fogus
Apples Eat Themselves
A review of the legal battles between Apple, a computer company and Apple, a record company, are discussed in this article. Both share a similar logo (an apple) and since 1981, the companies have gone to court to claim the Apple logo should only be unique to one company. In 1991 the Court agreed for each company to continue to use the Apple logo but now, the record company has accused the computer company of not conforming to the terms of the agreement.
The legal issue Apple Corps raised is that Apple Computer is involved in the music business and that in the 1991 agreement Apple Computer agreed to stay away from the sound recording industry, committing trademark infringement. In 2001 Apple computer released the iPod as a hardware device that can be used to download and play software like music from iTunes. iTunes was released in 2003. Apple Corps claims that Apple Computer is involved in the sound recording industry by the use of the iPod and the music downloads from iTunes that is in violation of the 1991 agreement in which Apple Computer would not have any business dealings that had to do with the sound recording industry. The High Court ruled that Apple Computer “hadn't breached the terms of the agreement” (BBC News, 2006) and could continue to operate their computer business as usual.
Legal issues affect the way business is conducted on an everyday basis, and are always changing, re-creating different scenarios and outcomes. Apple Corps, the company The Beatles opened in 1968 to manage their music business, could have protected their name and logo by registering its trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Costly suits and work hours may have avoided legal worries for Apple Corps. The USPTO “provides maximum...