IPod maker Apple and the manager of The Beatles' Apple Corps resolved their long-simmering dispute on Monday about who has the right to the Apple trademark.
The settlement offered greater hope to fans of George, Paul, John and Ringo that the two sides could now focus on permitting downloads of the band's music through the iPod maker's iTunes online music service. The catalog of all Beatles songs, including "Let it Be," "Get Back" and "She Loves You," is the largest holdout from iTunes and other online music services.
The new settlement replaces the companies' 1991 agreement and gives Apple Inc. ownership of all the trademarks related to "Apple," meaning it will continue using its name and logos on iTunes. In addition, Apple Inc. will license certain of those trademarks back to Apple Corps for their continued use.
This settlement ends the ongoing trademark lawsuit between the companies, with each paying its own legal costs. Further terms weren't disclosed.
"We love the Beatles, and it has been painful being at odds with them over these trademarks," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "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."
Neil Aspinall, manager of Apple Corps, said the company was glad to resolve the dispute, reports AP.
"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," he said.
The joint announcement from Apple Inc. and Apple Corps, however, was silent on the prospects of Beatles downloads.
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