The Beatles‘ Apple Corps company has won millions in a lawsuit over fake merchandise.
The company, which was founded by the band in 1968, has been awarded $77 million (£59.45 million) in a Florida lawsuit, one million for each defendant accused of selling fake Beatles-branded merch online.
None of the 77 defendants appeared in court, so the ruling comes as a default judgement.
Just two months ago, Apple Corps partnered with Sony Music company The Thread Shop to create and sell Beatles merchandise in North America.
The lawsuit claimed that the defendants profited from creating fake goods under the trademark names ‘Beatles’, ‘The Beatles’ and the also-trademarked ‘Yellow Submarine’.
The suit states: “Upon information and belief, Defendants are promoting and advertising, distributing, selling, and/or offering for sale goods in interstate commerce bearing and/or using counterfeit and infringing trademarks that are exact copies of one or more of the BEATLES Marks and/or YELLOW SUBMARINE Mark (the “Counterfeit Goods”) through at least the commercial Internet websites or Internet based e-commerce stores operating under the Subject Domain Names and Seller IDs.
“Plaintiffs are suffering irreparable injury and have suffered substantial damages as a result of Defendants’ unauthorised and wrongful use of Plaintiffs Marks.
“If Defendants’ counterfeiting and infringing, and unfairly competitive activities are not preliminarily and permanently enjoined by this Court, Plaintiffs and the consuming public will continue to be harmed.”