March 31, 2012 16:38

The Beatles' record company win wheelchair dispute

EU judges block Dutch firm from capitalising on the Fab Four's name

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The Beatles' record company Apple Corps have won a court case to successfully block a Dutch firm using the word beatle on electric wheelchairs.

EU judges ruled there was a risk of confusion with the Fab Four – even though the youth and vigour represented by the group contrasted with the reduced mobility of wheelchair customers, reports The Guardian.

The ruling comes after Dutch company You-Q had been promoting the Beatle wheelchair on its website.

The judges said it was likely that if the firm used the name, they would take unfair advantage of the "repute and the consistent selling power" of the group.

The ruling added:

The image conveyed [by the name of the Beatles] is, even after 50 years of existence, still synonymous with youth and a certain counterculture of the 1960s, an image which is still positive.

"That positive image could benefit the goods covered by the mark applied for, since the relevant public, on account specifically of the handicap in question, would be particularly attracted by the very positive image of freedom, youth and mobility associated with the Beatles.

"That image transfer would therefore enable You-Q to introduce its own trademark on the market without incurring any of the great risk or costs, in particular advertising costs, connected with launching a newly created mark."

Meanwhile, The Beatles' 1968 animated movie and accompanying album, 'Yellow Submarine', has been restored to be re-released on May 28.

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