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Thursday, March 30, 2006, 06:00 am PT (09:00 am ET)

Apple argues "even a moron" can spot company difference

Giving opening arguments on Thursday, lawyers for Apple Computer asserted the company's right to distribute music through its iTunes music store, rejecting claims by The Beatles' Apple Corps Ltd. that doing so violated a 1991 trademark agreement.

According to the Associated Press, Apple lawyer Anthony Grabiner said the "distribution of digital entertainment content" was permitted under the agreement, in which the two companies promised not to interfere with the other's business.

Grabiner said "even a moron in a hurry" could distinguish between the computer company's online music business and a record label like Apple Corps.

"Data transmission is within our field of use. That's what [the agreement] says and it is inescapable," he said.

In his own opening arguments on Wednesday, Apple Corps' lawyer Geoffrey Vos said Apple Computer's music distribution business "was flatly contradictory to the provisions of the agreement."

Vos argued that while Apple Computer is perfectly entitled to produce programs like iTunes, it should stay out of the music business if it uses the logo, a cartoonish apple with a neat bite out of its side, the AP reported.