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Beatles’ Company Files Lawsuit Against Apple Computer

February 22, 1989

LONDON (AP) _ The company representing the disbanded pop group the Beatles is suing Apple Computer Inc. in a dispute over the use of the ″apple″ trademark, a lawyer for the company said Wednesday.

Nicholas Valner said Apple Corps Ltd. filed a lawsuit in the High Court in London on Tuesday accusing the California company of violating a 1981 agreement.

Under the agreement, the company representing the three surviving Beatles and the estate of the John Lennon allowed Apple Computer to use the apple trademark on some products, he said.

But Apple Corps contends that Apple Computer violated stipulations not to use the trademark ″on any apparatus specifically designed and intended for synthesizing music,″ he said.

Over the past few years, the computer company has developed top-selling hardware with music synthesizing capabilities.

Apple Corps is seeking an injunction to prevent the further sale of the products and damages, Valner said. He said the alleged violations were discovered last year.

In California, a spokeswoman for Apple Computer said it does not believe it is in breach of the agreement. Company officials would not comment in detail on the suit because they had not yet seen it, she said.

Under the November 1981 agreement, Apple Computer, founded in 1977, paid the Beatles an unknown amount for the right to keep using its famous apple trademark.

Apple Corps was founded in 1967 and its activities included music releases under the Apple label and a chain of clothing stores. The Beatles broke up in 1970.

Some Apple Computer histories trace the name to co-founder Steven Jobs’ memories of working in the Oregon apple country, where he became convinced apples are a perfect food.

Wayne Cooper, a San Francisco lawyer advising the Beatles’ company in the dispute, said negotiations between Apple Corps and the computer company broke down at a meeting in London last week.