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Monday, May 01, 2006, 06:30 am PT (09:30 am ET)

Ruling in Apple vs Apple case due next week

A ruling in the high-profile case of Apple Computer vs. the Beatles' Apple Corps will be handed down at 10:30 am European time on May 8, according to a report by Macworld UK

Justice Edward Mann, who has been deliberating on the case since before Easter, will reveal if he has decided to grant an injunction barring Apple Computer from using its logo in-conjunction with music products such as iTunes.

Attorneys for the Beatles-owned Apple Corps have charged that Apple Computer's introduction of the iTunes Music Store breaches a 1991 agreement, in which the iPod maker settled for $26M and agreed not to use its trademarks for the sale of music.

Apple Computer has countered, arguing that iTunes represents a "data transmission" service, which is reportedly within the company's field of use. "That's what [the agreement] says and it is inescapable," Apple lawyer Anthony Grabiner told the Courts last month.

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

Lawyers for the label have said Apple Computer is perfectly entitled to produce programs like iTunes, but it should stay out of the music business if the company uses its logo — a silhouette of an apple with a bite out of its side.

According to attorneys, a ruling against Apple Computer could be "expensive " and would carry a detailed injunction setting restrictions on how the company could use its logo in associations with its music goods and services.