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Apple Corps 'will appeal' High Court judgement

Not the end of the long, winding road

Neil Aspinall, manager of Apple Corps, has confirmed that the company will appeal against the High Court judgement in the Apple versus Apple case.

High court judge Edward Mann revealed his verdict in the logo usage case this morning.

Mann rejected Apple Corps' complaint that Apple Computer had broken a prior 1991 agreement between the two firms regarding logo usage. Apple Corps felt that Apple Computer's use of the apple logo in connection with iTunes broke that agreement. The judge didn't agree, saying such use was acceptable under section 4.3 of the 1991 deal.

In a statement obtained by PC Advisor's sister title Macworld, Aspinall says: "With great respect to the trial judge, we consider he has reached the wrong conclusion. We felt that during the course of the trial we clearly demonstrated just how extensively Apple Computer had broken the agreement. We will accordingly be filing an appeal."

Nicholas Valner, partner at Eversheds, solicitors to The Beatles' Apple Corps, called the judgement "particularly disappointing".

"So much of what the judge says is right," he added, "it will be noted that he rejected pretty much every argument advanced by Lord Grabiner for Apple Computer."

The judge said that Apple Computer has the right to digitally transfer music using the Apple logo, but not to release music as a music company under that logo.

Valner argued that the judge was inconsistent to hold that the use of the apple logos is not use in connection with the downloaded music on a download service.

He argued that the judge had applied the terms of the original deal inconsistently, pointing out that clause 4.3 of the 1991 deal between the two firms was seen by both sides in the case as "wrong".

"Since the judge's implied term imported into clause 4.3 has the direct effect of contradicting the clear terms of clauses 4.2 and 4.9 (which expressly forbid Apple Computer from using their marks on or in connection with Apple Corps' exclusive field (which includes downloaded music – as the judge concedes)), the judge cannot be right," Valner continued.

This story first appeared on Macworld.co.uk.


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