In a setback for Apple, the tech giant has lost a legal battle over the registration of the Apple Music brand name. The case was brought by musician Charles Bertini, who claimed he had been using the Apple Jazz brand for live performances since 1985, and argued that there was a risk of confusion between the two names.
The case was heard by a US Court of Appeals, which overturned an earlier decision that had found in favor of the iPhone maker, stating that it had used the name first. The court decided that the two names were too similar and that there was a risk of confusion.
The ruling is the latest legal challenge to Apple’s use of the Apple brand in the music industry, which has its roots in a long-standing dispute with the Beatles. The band established Apple Corps in 1968 to do business around their music. Ten years later, they sued Apple Computer, which had been founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, for trademark infringement.
The dispute was resolved in the 1980s with an agreement that Apple Computer would stay out of the music business, and Apple Corps would stay out of the computer industry. However, the agreement was tested in the early 2000s when Apple Computer launched the iTunes download platform, which led to further legal action from Apple Corps. The court ultimately ruled in favor of the technology giant.
In 2007, Steve Jobs bought all of the Beatles’ trademark rights to the Apple name, giving the tech giant the ability to claim ownership of a trademark that has been used in the music business since 1968. The green apple from Apple Corps can still be found on Beatles records and CDs, among other places.
It is unclear at this time whether Apple will appeal the latest decision. The company launched its Apple Music streaming service in 2015, and the brand has become an important part of its music business.
This latest legal setback comes amid ongoing scrutiny of Apple’s business practices, particularly around its App Store. The company is currently facing a lawsuit brought by Epic Games, the maker of the popular video game Fortnite, which argues that Apple’s App Store practices are anti-competitive and harm competition.
Apple is also facing scrutiny from regulators around the world over its App Store practices. In the European Union, the company is under investigation over allegations that it has abused its dominance in the App Store to stifle competition. In the United States, lawmakers are considering a range of proposals to regulate tech companies, including Apple.
Despite these challenges, Apple remains one of the most valuable companies in the world, with a market capitalization of over $2 trillion. The company’s products and services are widely used by consumers around the world, and its brand is among the most recognizable in the tech industry.