On the opening day of a closely watched court case in London on Wednesday, lawyers for The Beatles' record company accused Apple Computer of improperly using an apple logo to advertise its iTunes music store.
Apple Corps made opening arguments in its request for an injunction that would bar the computer manufacturer from using its logo - an apple with a bite taken out - to advertise the sale of music through iTunes.
The record company alleges that Apple Computer is violating a 1991 agreement that sets limits on how the companies can use their similar logos.
There are a number of stories about how Apple founder Steve Jobs decided on the name and logo for his company which he co-founded in 1976, one is that he chose it out of admiration for The Beatles. The companies have sparred in two previous lawsuits over how their logos could be used. Apple Corps' logo is an uneaten green apple.
Apple Corps attorney Geoffrey Vos played an iTunes advertisement for the court, featuring exclusive tracks from the band Coldplay. The ad ends with the Apple Computer logo.
"That advertisement is as flagrant violation of this agreement as it is possible to imagine," Vos said.
Apple Computer's corporate communications director Alan Hely declined to comment on the case on Wednesday morning, but the company has provided the following statement to Macworld:
"Over a decade ago, Apple signed an agreement with Apple Corps, a business controlled by the Beatles and their heirs, which specified the rights each company would have to use the "Apple" trademark. Unfortunately, Apple and Apple Corps now have differing interpretations of this agreement and will need to ask a court to resolve this dispute."