Ipod maker Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) was in the news this week as it settled a disagreement with The Beatles' company Apple Corps Ltd. over the use of its brand, in a new deal giving the computer maker control of the name. The trademark infringement suit was initially filed in 2003, after Apple began selling music at its iTunes store (ever wonder why you weren't able to purchase The Beatles' music in iTunes?)
Financial terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but Apple Inc. will be able to use its logo in marketing iTunes and the iPod. The big question remaining is whether The Beatles' music will soon be distributed via iTunes. All signs point to such a deal. In May, a London court ruled Apple's marketing with iTunes did not violate a 1991 agreement with the Fab Four and Neil Aspinall, manager of Apple Corps, said it was great to put the dispute behind them and move on. "The years ahead are going to be very exciting times for us. We wish Apple Inc. every success and look forward to many years of peaceful cooperation with them."
It looks like both parties would greatly benefit from the partnership. Apple says iTunes has sold more than 2 billion songs to date, dwarfing offerings from Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), Napster (Nasdaq: NAPS), and RealNetworks (Nasdaq: RNWK). And the Fab Four are the top-selling musicians of all time, with more than 1 billion records sold.
One potential snag in this seemingly perfect union could be the possible New York ban of iPods while crossing the street. New York State Senator Carl Kruger introduced legislation on Wednesday to ban the use of iPods and other gadgets such as Blackberry devices and video games while crossing the street. Kruger states, "This electronic gadgetry is reaching the point where it's becoming not only endemic but it's creating an atmosphere where we have a major public safety crisis at hand."
To assist your students in their decision-making to determine whether Apple is worthy investment, be sure to check out the lesson Buy, Sell, or Hold located in the Teacher Support Center. In this lesson students learn to use key resources to help them determine whether to buy, sell or hold a stock. It includes tips on how to read an annual report and compare a company with others in the same industry.
Have a great weekend!
This article was written by a staff member of The Stock Market Game.