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Handling the Apple iPod Fame and Lawsuits


Handling the Apple iPod Fame and Lawsuits

With the success of the apple ipod series of Apple Computer, it is no wonder that there will be an apple ipod lawsuit on the table. Apple Corps sued the apple ipod creator, Apple Computer, of a breach in their agreement over the use of their famous trademark. Last March 2006, the hearing for the Apple ipod began before the London court.

Before any of the loyal fans of this iconic device dismiss this Apple ipod case as envy,it is important to look behind the court history of these two companies. The Apple ipod case is the latest court battle of these companies. In the early 80’s, Apple Computer paid Apple Corps $80,000 and promised that they will never enter the music business. 1989 proved to be another hot year between them after Apple Corps took Apple Computer to court again, this time for a music-making program and a microphone.

The latter paid Apple Corps another $26 million and was allowed to sell goods and services for the reproduction, play, running or otherwise delivery of music content. Apple Corps maintained the rights to creative works containing music. Their agreement only prevented Apple Computer in distributing content on media like CDs and tapes. It is vague on the stand pertaining to later inventions like digital music files or even the devices that they run on.

Mainly a trademark dispute, the Apple ipod case has become a much-anticipated issue. Because of the 1991 agreement, Apple Computer says that they are allowed to use the logo on the apple ipod and iTunes because they don’t own the rights to all their music, just the digital technology to handle its distribution. Whatever they have used the trademark on is well within their agreement.

Anthony Grabiner, Apple Computer’s lawyer believes they have a strong defense against Apple Corps. Meanwhile, Apple Corps is seeking damages and demands that the company and apple ipod maker to stop its use of the apple logo on their iTunes Music Store and the in advertising for the site.

Many fans of the Apple Computer products think that the Apple ipod case has some bearing. There are those who suggest that Apple Computer should just completely change its logo to end any lawsuit from being filed against them in the future. Ilounge.com visitors see this Apple ipod case as an admission that Apple Computer has indeed violated their agreement with Apple Corps especially when they are judged by the previous settlements that the former offered.

What this Apple ipod case really shows is a warning to all companies. Trademark and copyright lawsuits can be very expensive to settle especially when your company has just picked up business. That is why many companies invest heavily in market research, branding and patents. Make sure that you check the copyright of any of your business processes, logos and symbols before releasing it to the public. Setting everything in order will help your company avoid nasty court battles such as the Apple ipod case.

Eddie Cue, iTunes vice president at Apple Computer, took the witness stand April 3, 2006 to defend his company. Cue testified that the Apple Computer did not violate their 1991 agreement by using the Apple logo on their iTunes Music Store. What they provided was data transmission and not the original rights to the songs.

During the closing in the Apple ipod case, Anthony Grabiner defended Apple Computer’s right to use the logo because they are promoting the iTunes store and not the music itself and as long as they indicate the origin of the software and downloading services, they have not breeched anything.

Apple ipod will still remain as the most popular audio and multimedia player device in the market despite lawsuits filed against them. The apple ipod sales will continue to soar as users and patrons find more and more ways to use their apple ipod in their daily lives. Of course, there will be dissidents. By experience, anyone who can complain will complain so no matter how Apple ipod tries to meet its consumer’s needs, they can’t please everyone.

The ruling for the Apple vs. Apple trademark case is unlikely to be before the Easter break. As to how this all ends for the apple ipod, we will just have to wait and see.

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