It's a massive Apple battle - and could lead to the largest settlement in legal history...

APPLE could be facing the largest legal settlement in history – and the money will go to APPLE.

The electronics giant Apple Computer has been in legal wrangles with Apple Corps – The Beatles’ holding company that controls Apple Recordings – over their shared name and logo for the past 23 years.

Now, according to The Guardian, the dispute has flared up again thanks to the rise of iTunes. Apple Corps – owned by Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and the widows of John Lennon and George Harrison – claim that in operating iTunes, Apple Computer is in breach of a 1991 agreement.

By the terms of that agreement, the computer company were forbidden from using any trademark for any application “whose principle content is music”. Apple Corps claims that the iTunes service infringes their trademark, and experts are predicting that the payout could dwarf the $30m that they paid back then for a breach of an earlier agreement that allowed the company to use the Apple trademark solely for the sale of computers.

A top entertainment lawyer told US magazine Daily Variety: “People are expecting this to be the biggest settlement anywhere in legal history, outside of a class action suit. The numbers could be mind-boggling.”