Monday, 10 May 2010 08:48

iTunes Live trademark rumourmongers draw a long bow


The news that Apple has applied for trademark protection for 'iTunes Live' has led to some of the silliest speculation we've seen in a long time. Why do so many people seem to think it has something to do with Apple's acquisition of Lala?

It's not hard to find speculation that Apple's trademark applications for 'iTunes Live' and an associated logo have something to do with Apple's acquisition of Lala and the (presumed) potential launch of a cloud-based or streaming music service.

Such speculation seems bizarre to anyone that has noticed that Apple has been using the 'iTunes Live' tag for some time to describe live performances at Apple Stores and the sale of recordings made at those sessions via the iTunes Store.

In which classes has Apple filed the 'iTunes Live' trademarks? Class 35, "Online retail store services in the field of entertainment featuring prerecorded musical, audio and audiovisual content" and Class 41 "Entertainment services, namely, arranging and conducting of concerts and live musical performances."

That precisely matches the existing use of the trademarks.

The applications also note that the first use of the logo was in January 2008, with the words 'iTunes Live' being used since June 2006.


So there's nothing to link the 'iTunes Live' trademark application with significant changes to the iTunes Store. Nobody appears to be claiming inside knowledge, instead it is all idle speculation with no real basis in the observable facts.

We may yet see iTunes offering one-time free plays of any track in the catalogue, or the ability to stream your purchased tracks to any device. But there's nothing in the 'iTunes Live' trademark application that really relates to those possibilities.


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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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