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Beatles download hopes after Apple deal

End of trademark row could signal iTunes agreement


Beatles fans may soon be able to download tracks to their iPods after a trademark issue over the name ‘Apple’ was settled.

The new settlement replaces the 1991 agreement between iPod maker Apple Inc. and the Beatles’ Apple Corp Ltd, and gives Apple Inc. ownership of all the trademarks related to ‘Apple’.

In addition, Apple Inc. will license some of those trademarks back to Apple Corps for its continued use.

This settlement ends the ongoing trademark lawsuit between the companies, with each paying its own legal costs. Apple Inc. will continue using its name and logos on iTunes.

Beatles catalogue

It was not clear if The Beatles music catalogue was part of the deal. That catalogue is the largest holdout from iTunes and other online music services.

Apple Inc’s CEO Steve Jobs said: ‘We love the Beatles, and it has been painful being at odds with them over these trademarks.

‘It feels great to resolve this in a positive manner, and in a way that should remove the potential of further disagreements in the future.’

It’s no secret that Steve Jobs has wanted the British band’s music on iTunes, which has sold more than two billion songs worldwide and has catapulted Apple into the top ranks of music sellers.

Jobs even cued up some Beatles music and album art in unveiling the company’s highly-anticipated iPhone gadget at the Macworld Conference and Expo last month, setting off rampant speculation that some type of deal might be in the works.

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