Apple v Apple: will new iPods have a green apple logo on them?

by Guy Kewney | posted on 07 May 2006

Tomorrow is Le Crunch. That is the day of judgement between Apple Corps (tunes) and Apple Computer (iTunes) with me doing the commentary. At least, that's the plan.

Guy Kewney

Most people expect Apple to win. Apple the music company, that is: this isn't the first time Apple v Apple has featured in the courts. And the previous two lawsuits have been won by Apple Corps, the company the Beatles set up, and Apple Corps has made pots of money out of it.

My part is a secret, of course. I'm being rushed by high-power limo into a studio, where the cameras will focus upon my grey beard, and I'll explain why a song on an iPod is completely different from the same song on a CD. And, depending on the judgement, why Apple won.

The question is: is an iPod "physical music materials"? That's the nub of the case (says Alice Graves at legalzoom) - and in my amateur judgement (how do you spell "IANAL"?) the Court could find for either side, without being obviously illogical.

My money is on Apple (Corps) tomorrow. I don't base this on my expert judicial analysis (I am really not a lawyer!) but on the fact that Apple (Computer) thinks it will go that way. Word from the corridors of jurisprudence is that a deal is all but done.

And the most likely deal, says Graves, is that the court "will order Apple Computer to remove its trademark from iTunes and iPods and set up a new company to sell them. Apple is already preparing for that."

If Apple and Apple are told to settle, and that if they do this by setting up a joint company, and Sir Paul McCartney as a board member, either of Apple (Computer) or of the new joint venture.

I'm blogging this, simply because I think a far more likely outcome is that I'll sit in the TV studio for an hour and a half, only to discover that the Judge has announced a postponement of the decision "pending negotiations between the plaintiff and defendant" and I'll waste a morning - but ignore me, I'm a young cynic, really...


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