The trademark battle between the record label Apple and Apple Computer should be heard in London, a judge ruled yesterday.
Mr Justice Mann ruled that English law governed the trademark dispute and that a trial in the US was likely to last longer and prove more expensive than a hearing in the UK.
"Taking into account all these considerations, and the other points advanced by the parties, I have concluded that England is the proper place for this litigation," he said.
The decision is likely to come as a blow to Apple Computer, which was hoping for the case to be heard on its home territory in California.
The case has its roots in a 1991 trademark deal between the two companies, whereby Apple the computer company said it would not use its Apple name and logo to promote music products.
But the Apple of Beatles fame has claimed that the creation of the download site, iTunes, breaks the terms of that deal.
The court heard yesterday that iTunes is only available in the US, but is to be launched in Europe later in the year.
The judge granted Apple Computer permission to appeal against his decision.
Apple the record label is owned by Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and the widows of John Lennon and George Harrison.
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