The company representing the disbanded Beatles has sued Apple Computer Inc. challenging its use of the "apple" trademark on some of its products, a newspaper reported.
In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in London, Apple Corps Ltd. accused the Silicon Valley computer company of violating a secret 1981 agreement under which the Beatles' company allowed Apple Computer to use the trademark on computer products, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.The agreement retained the right of Apple Corps to use the fruit as a trademark in its music business, and Apple Computer promised not to enter that field, according to the Chronicle, which said a draft copy of the lawsuit was filed in the chancery division of Britain's High Court of Justice.
Over the past few years, however, the computer company has developed top-selling new hardware with music synthesizing capabilities, and the Beatles' company says those products break Apple Computer's promise.
The lawsuit asks the court for an injunction to bar Apple Computer from breaching the agreement and seeks unspecified damages, legal fees and interest.
The computer company, however, does not believe it is in breach of the agreement, a company spokeswoman said. But company officials would not comment in detail on the suit because they had not yet seen it, she said.