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Last Updated: Monday, 5 February 2007, 15:41 GMT
Deal ends Beatles' Apple battle
The Beatles
The Beatles set up the Apple Corps Record label in 1968
Technology giant Apple has reached a deal with the Beatles to end the dispute over the use of the Apple name.

Apple Inc will now take full control of the Apple brand and license certain trademarks back to the Beatles' record company Apple Corps for continued use.

The two companies have been wrangling over the use of the Apple name and logo for more than 25 years. The legal battle over the trademark will now end.

Apple Inc boss Steve Jobs said the court dispute had been "painful".

The Beatles' songs are still not available on any legal download service, but this truce could pave the way for their anticipated appearance on the iTunes download store.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs demonstrates the new iPhone playing a Beatles song during his keynote address at MacWorld Conference
Apple Inc boss Steve Jobs won a High Court case in London last year
Mr 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."

Apple Corps manager Neil Aspinall added: "It is great to put this dispute behind us and move on. The years ahead are going to be very exciting times for us.

"We wish Apple Inc every success and look forward to many years of peaceful co-operation with them."

The dispute dates back to 1980, when the late George Harrison noticed an advert for Apple computers in a magazine.

He felt there was potential for trademark conflict with Apple Corps - set up by The Beatles in 1968 to release their songs and manage their creative affairs.

Court clashes

The sides reached a deal in 1981 allowing Apple Computer to use the name as long as it stuck to computers, while The Beatles' company would continue in the entertainment field.

But as computers developed and their musical capabilities grew, the sides ended up in court in 1989, resulting in a new deal.

They clashed again when Apple Inc launched the iTunes download store in 2003, with the record label claiming the computer firm had encroached on its territory again. That case ended up in court last year.

Apple Corps lost, with a judge ruling that the iPod and iTunes did not breach their deal because they were merely ways of conveying music and nothing to do with the creation of the music itself.

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