The Apple Computer versus Apple Corps. courtroom drama continues, with a US judge last week declaring the case should be heard in California.

The LA Times (free registration required) reports that District Judge Ronald Whyte last week "denied a motion to dismiss the Californian action filed by Apple Corps."

The case hasn't yet come to trial. So far apart are the two antagonists that they are currently trying to get the courts to decide whether the case should be heard in California (which Apple prefers), or London (which the surviving Beatles want).

This jurisdiction issue was the substance of the hearings by an iPod-owning judge in the UK High Court last month. No decision on this has been declared yet.

At issue: After several legal tussles between the two companies, most recently in 1991, Apple Computer agreed to use the Apple logo for personal computers, data processing and telecommunications, while the Beatles could use it for music.

In the UK, Apple argued that its iTunes Music Store, which the Beatles' claim contravenes the 1991 agreement, does not do so because it is simply a means to transfer digital content as data.

Apple Computer wants Judge Whyte to rule that it has not violated the deal. It also requests the suit be heard in California, as Apple Corps. has filed against Apple Computer in California three times in the past.

Judge Whyte agreed, saying Apple Corps' decision to file suit three times before in the Sate made it "immensely reasonable" for Apple Computer to defend itself in California again.