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Apple Inc. and Beatles’ Apple Corps settle

February 6, 2007

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The long and winding road has come to an end for the Beatles, at least as far as the dispute over their Apple logo is concerned.

Apple Inc., the maker of the iPod, and Apple Corps, the guardian of the Beatles’ music interests, announced yesterday that they had settled their dispute over the technology company’s name and its use of an apple logo.

Under the new agreement, Apple Inc. now owns all the trademarks related to “Apple” and will license certain trademarks back to Apple Corps Ltd., the London company founded by the Beatles in the late 1960s.

The agreement immediately raised speculation that the Beatles’ music, which has been unavailable on legitimate digital music services, might soon be licensed for downloads from the Apple iTunes service.

Neither company would comment directly on that prospect, though both sides said they were happy to have worked things out.

“We love the Beatles, and it has been painful being at odds with them over these trademarks,” said Steven P. Jobs, chief executive of Apple Inc., who is widely known as a huge fan of the Beatles’ music. The companies declined to provide further details of the settlement.

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